The Student News Site of Alta High School

New Protocols Lead Us to Say, “Sayonara Quarantining”

“It’s over! It’s finally over!” To quote the famous Disney ducks, Houie Douie and Louie.

After a long 2020, it seems that 2021 is getting off on a good note because Contact Tracing is over! As school started up after winter break the school will no longer be quarantining students for being exposed. However there is one condition, this being that teachers must confirm to the front office and the district that the students were in fact where they should be and following social distancing guidelines.

Assistant Principal Kelli Miller said in an email to the teachers that the only way a student that doesn’t test positive could be quarantined is if the exposure was non mask to mask.  If a student is exposed to a NON-mask-to-mask exposure they will serve a 10-day quarantine, however, if they do not show any symptoms after day 7 they are allowed to be tested and, should it be negative, they can return to school the following day.

If an immediate family member tests positive for COVID, the student must be quarantined for 10 days, with no “testing early & return”  Mrs. Miller said. If the exposure occurs with a close friend, outside of your own home, then the student should quarantine for 10 days. However different than exposure from an immediate family mentioned before, the “testing early & return” does apply.

Now students can’t just walk out of school when they hear that their friend or sibling has tested positive for Covid. In order to be excused from school, and switch to online, it requires the parent of a student to call the attendance office. While on the call they must confirm that the exposure was a non-school exposure and the student will quarantine, for at least ten days.

Mrs. Miller also said if a student is exposed through a fellow student while in school, the Attendance Office will notify the teacher that a student tested positive and will ask that everyone around that student was following social distancing guidelines. It is only if students were wearing masks, and for the most part, staying 6 feet apart that no other person will be quarantined.

On the matter of a student being exposed in a Mask-to-Mask exposure, it is not required that the student quarantine. However, if the student starts to show symptoms it is common courtesy to get tested and quarantine yourself until the results come back. Should they be negative, it is the choice of the student whether they will quarantine or not.
Only one percent of the students are quarantined for contact tracing. And over 90 percent of student Covid cases come from outside of school. Leading to the belief that contact tracing only prohibited students, who were completely capable of attending class, from learning the way that they should.

In the future, it is uncertain whether the school will need to be shut down again, due to Covid cases in the community rising at an exponential rate. However, because of the release of the Covid vaccine, there are fewer and fewer reasons to quarantine. While little information is known at this time about the vaccinations most faculty were asked if they wanted to receive the vaccine. Completely for the safety of the students and faculty alike, we are asked to follow social distancing guidelines, at all times, not only while in school.

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