Opinion by Courney Suber
On November 7th, 2020 it was announced that our school, North Springs Charter High School, would be quarantined for two days. The school was placed on ‘Level 2 Protocol’, which called for the school to close once it exceeded three COVID-19 cases. During these two days students and staff were kept at home while the school was deep cleaned. To ensure the safety of staff and students, these measures were taken to protect students and staff.
Although the school reopened on Wednesday, it’s theorized not only by students but some staff –and even indicated by postings and emails sent by the county –that schools will face inevitable closure and return to remote learning if there is a rise in cases of students who are sick or showing symptoms and who come to school. Other schools in the county, including Banneker, Cambridge, and Centennial have also faced similar situations, and while this only affected those schools on a local level, state trends are indicated more building closures and return to virtual learning in the future.
Some say this type of widescale could happen as soon as next week, others say perhaps after Thanksgiving break. Again, this is speculation, but based on COVID numbers, indications by the county, and actions by other school systems, this is a potential scenario.
The winter months are considered ‘flu season’, and the likelihood and possibility of getting sick heavily increases. If COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading virus as indicated by the CDC and other medical professionals, it would be ignorant to continue holding face-to-face classes. Possible exposure cannot be limited by contract tracing. While someone who is infected may come into contact with their peers, they can also come into contact with sports teammates, peers they may not have classes with, and other staff/faculty. The wise thing to do would be to go virtual the week after Thanksgiving break, then potentially back to face-to-face. Being out of school for those two weeks would allow for the incubation period to pass, decreasing the likelihood of surfaces at the school and students getting others sick. While online learning is extremely difficult and curates lack of motivation among students, potential well-being comes before all.
I’ve had several friends transfer back to virtual out of fear of possible exposure, and those that I know are certainly not the only people making the same decision. COVID-19 is a virus that eventually will become treatable like the flu or like the common cold, but in the meantime proper precautions must be taken to protect the masses and prevent possible shortage of medical products and overloading of the medical system. It’s been found that COVID-19 can stay on surfaces for up to two weeks, making it almost impossible to fully avoid the virus. The reality is that the virus will not just disappear and herd immunity will eventually be employed, but in current time, we must slow the spread.
Fulton County Covid Reporting Portal https://fultonschools.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6hWlX46FNk8pNlz
Cases in Schools:
Fulton County Coronavirus Info: