Precautions for Covid-19 for upcoming winter school season

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Photo by Cassidy Gilliam

Students walk down “one way” directed hallways in SAHS to follow the safety precautions for Covid-19, examples of the precautions set in place are; wearing a mask and many more.

Lindsey Crain

As the school year continues, the hybrid model continues to follow the guidelines for safety precautions for Covid-19. With Covid- 19 cases rising first quarter, safety precautions will be more strict.

With the winter season coming up, many experts are saying Covid-19 will rise. Last year in the U.S., there were 40 times as many flu cases in the fall and winter months as in the previous spring and summer. The other is that the death toll from the 1918 influenza outbreak is the only pandemic to have killed more Americans than this one so far. One of the deadliest in global history was five times as high in the U.S. during the late fall and winter as during the summer. If the Covid- 19 pandemic follows those patterns and blows up as we head into winter, the result could easily top 300,000 additional U.S. deaths on top of the more than 200,000 so far. Conservatively assuming (based on the 1918 outbreak) four times the rate of Covid-19 deaths that we saw this summer.

In addition, the high school has already prepared for Covid-19 for this past quarter of school; the hybrid students have been following the guidelines and safety precautions. For example, wearing a mask at all times while students are in school, walking according to the “one way” hallway signs, six feet social distancing, hand sanitizing stations posted all over the school and many more.

“I don’t know that I do too much differently. I kind of feel like we looked at a lot of other districts that have had kind of a lot of other problems. And I feel like they’ve had some problems that we haven’t really had, so I feel like we’ve come up with about as good a solution as possible. It’s a little bit tricky, because I know that having a semester’s worth of stuff kind of condensed into one quarter, has been tricky for teachers and students, and it’s been a lot of work,” Principal Robert Bach explained.

SAHS is not the only school following and providing precautions, in the Stillwater school district, the middle and elementary schools have also been following their own precautions provided at the schools. In particular, Oakland Middle School has had their own safety precautions. 

Eighth grade, social studies teacher, Joel Raddatz, has said that many students have been following the precautions and that there had not been an issue.

Raddatz added, “From the minute I’m in the building until the minute I go home. When I don’t have students in front of me then I take my mask off. But we have, we have all the cleaning supplies and the people that we need. But when we’re in class, we don’t move around the classroom a lot. Where I have a stick that measures six feet. I made sure I go around every day. And I’ve made sure that my desks are six feet apart.”

Schools are taking precautions very seriously, with that, there are also school sports that have other restrictions with other guidelines. Some winter sports including: hockey, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, etc. As well as training in the off season, many students participating in school sports have been taking extra precautions while playing their sports.

Junior Ally Carle said, “As a member of both the Stillwater girls high school hockey and lacrosse programs here at SAHS, I don’t believe I am at risk. I think that while it may seem as though we are spreading more germs, in reality we are more active so there is less of a risk for COVID to spread. However, I do think that if someone were to get COVID that it would infect the whole team.”

“I think it’s going great. You know I know there were a lot of questions about that stuff over the summer too and sometimes it’s easy to feel like a lot of the attention is on the hybrid because that’s the piece that’s so new, for everybody, But I’m hoping that everything’s working out for you guys,” Bach replied.