Positive COVID case requires quarantine


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Emma Gamanho, Ranger Review Reporter

Schools throughout Colorado and the United States have been seeing positive COVID-19 test results, and some are struggling to stay open. Lewis-Palmer High School has its first positive case prompting numerous students and teachers  to quarantine for two weeks. 

Because staying open is at the utmost importance to Lewis-Palmer, there are precautions set in place that are essential to in school instruction. One of these precautions includes the quarantine of students and faculty.

“If someone tests positive for COVID, you have to go back 48 hours from the symptoms’ onset,” Principal Bridget O’Connor said, “So let’s say that someone had symptoms today, you would have to go back and see anyone that they were close contacts with, which is 15 minutes or more. All of these people would have to be quarantined.”

The current cohort system is another precaution to prevent outbreaks that could shut the entire school down. This allows for minimal quarantines and creates less of an impact in case a student or faculty member tests positive. Although students and teachers are struggling with the hybrid classroom model, bringing all students back together full time may be a premature option. 

“If we get cases then we are going to have multiple people who are considered close contacts,” O’Connor said, “So do we open up just to shut down and go all online?

In addition to these measures, social distancing and the wearing of masks is mandatory. Even if the state mask mandate put into place by Governor Polis is no longer in effect in the future, masks will still be enforced to sustain face-to-face learning.

“It is saving our bacon,” O’Connor said, “It really is. Even though it may get changed for the public, we need to.”

Although all of these safety measures are put in place, there is only so much the public can do. With students and staff experiencing symptoms and large amounts of students quarantining, this could be only the beginning of an outbreak in the Lewis-Palmer school district.

“It’s kind of a catch-22,” O’Connor said, “Is the little bit that we are doing, good?”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends that symptoms are monitored. Students and staff should stay home and report their condition if experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. A checklist can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VdL-vLQF9t1WQTYwFv8-Tmh_Dcvkbizf/view.