Administration creates a prevention and action plan for COVID-19

Junior+Greta+Sorenson+abiding+by+the+new+preventions+in+the+school.+She+is+wearing+a+mask+and+following+the+one-way+hallways%2C+keeping+herself+and+others+safe+from+COVID-19.

Photo by Luci Miller

Junior Greta Sorenson abiding by the new preventions in the school. She is wearing a mask and following the one-way hallways, keeping herself and others safe from COVID-19.

Luci Miller, Business Editor

High school student’s education dramatically shifted with new precautions at school and the fear of COVID-19. The action plan at school could keep kids and parents quarantined at home for two weeks. The preventions such as masks, one-way hallways, and a different schedule have been added to the school. These have affected how students learn, walk the school, and greet each other. 

The school has taken an immense amount of precautions to keep the school the safest it can be.  The administration is following the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, including required masks, a one-way hallway system, and the new addition of a COVID-19 triage nurse. A nurse specifically for dealing with COVID-19 related symptoms.

“Things we have added are a triage nurse, the one-way trafficking, upholding mass requirements, changing the schedule so that we have fewer people in the building, changing the schedule so we have fewer transitions or movements reducing the amount of people that you’re exposed to,” explained Assistant Principal Shelly Phernetton.

On the other hand, if a student were to test positive there are many actions to take place. Being exposed to a classmate who has tested positive for COVID-19 can put someone in a two-week quarantine. Therefore, shifting the students’ education and daily life.

Things we have added are a triage nurse, the one-way trafficking, upholding mass requirements, changing the schedule so that we have fewer people in the building, changing the schedule so we have fewer transitions or movements reducing the amount of people that you’re exposed to.”

— Shelly Phernetton

“We will determine who that individual has been in contact with and then notifying all of the people that need to know those might be other students, those might be families, those might be teachers,” Phernetton said. “They might be some of those people. Maybe all of those people, depending on what the situation is.”

Freshman Cole Jackson explained how he hasn’t been given any information on the action plan for COVID, and nearly eighty-five percent of students have no information or knowledge on the  COVID-19 action plan, making students unprepared for if a COVID-19 situation involves them. 

The nurses’ office has added new precautions other than the overall school rules. SAHS is prepared if a student goes to the nurse for symptoms of COVID-19 during school. 

“We are enforcing social distancing, face coverings, protecting those vulnerable, providing instructions, and heavy reminders on appropriate hygiene practices and we have increased our cleaning and custodial staff. We also have a second nurse’s office specifically for quarantining any and all student’s that display COVID-related symptoms,” nurse Nicole Myers said.

Meanwhile, students are trying to prevent contracting COVID-19 at home. Thus keeping other classmates safe and preventing bringing it into the school.

“I try to stay at home, and when I do go out I wear a mask. I also try to keep up with temperature checks,” Jackson said.

Nevertheless, the regular nurse’s office is still open for kids to come to if they are feeling sick or relating to health issues other than COVID-19, such as daily medications or a headache.

Myers is, “wearing masks, gloves, shields, and gowns when assessing a student,” to keep herself and students safe at school, and their goal is to keep the main nurse’s office for the more daily student needs.

“I’ve seen masks on everybody unless there’s a medical exemption. It’s just been really wonderful to see everybody on the same page,” Phernetton said. Overall, school officials have been happy with how all the students have been cooperating and adhering to the rules, and hope the plan will keep learning in place for the future.