Quarantines are no more for grades seven through twelve. Yay?
According to the latest quarantine guidelines, grades seven through twelve are no longer requiring quarantines for close contacts. If a student tests positive then, yes, they do have to be quarantined, but otherwise, as long as a student is not experiencing any symptoms, they are good to stay in school. Close contacts and positive cases are still being notified to the Livingston City Health Department.
This requires much student initiative and self-reflection to self-assess: If I am feeling a little under the weather, should I stay home or go to school?
“It’s up to [individual students] to be careful and to make sure that they are not putting other people in danger,” said Lincoln Ramsdell.
Principal Mr. Evans points out that, “The health department wouldn’t be allowing this pilot to take place unless they felt like it was safe for schools to implement, or at the very least that they didn’t necessarily have the evidence of students transferring covid to each other in the school setting.”
This can be concerning to students who are more worried about COVID now that the high school is not quarantining. Fifty percent of students polled say they are more anxious at school because of these new quarantine guidelines.
The huge pro of these guidelines is that students are able to miss less school and have more in-person learning. In the past, quarantines could be very detrimental to students.
Marissa Brokaw was quarantined nine times the past school year. “It was really bad … I got behind in school a lot. It was just one after another and teachers weren’t very good about putting work online: I missed my AP exam,” said Brokaw.
Now that close contact quarantines are no longer required, Brokaw, among many others, is filled with mixed emotions about the situation: “I think it’s good because kids aren’t leaving school as much, but also at the same time we have to worry about each other’s safety. COVID’s not gone yet.”
The preschool through sixth-grade students are not undergoing this pilot program. The younger kids are still quarantining.
Lincoln Ramsdell said, “As an older sister it makes me more comfortable with the fact that my siblings won’t be as much at risk.”
Whether the younger kids will stop quarantining depends on vaccine availability and seeing how the pilot program goes with the high school.
“We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep safe but also allow them to get an education,” said Evans.