With a pandemic going on while students and teachers are going into school, lots of precautions have to be taken. One of the biggest parts in trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 is contact tracing. Teachers are required to have their students sit in a seating chart so that if someone tests positive for COVID, the administrators can view the seating charts of the classes that student was in. Then they send each student sitting near the one that tested positive home for a two week quarantine starting from when they were last in contact.
Contact tracing also applies to sports. If someone on a school sports team tests positive and has been to practice or a game with their team, the whole team must quarantine. This is because coaches can’t trace who the positive student was playing next to in practice because people are always moving. Another factor is that teams don’t practice with masks so the virus can be spread easier than it can in class.
There is one exception to these sports teams though. The SheDevils dance team practices socially distanced and with masks on. They practice in areas such as the gym, the pool deck, or outside. This way, the whole team doesn’t shut down if someone tests positive and it’s safer. “I really appreciate that the team wears masks and social distances because there is less worry about spreading COVID,” said Leanne Gray (11), a member of SheDevils.
Between contact tracing through seating charts and tracing through sports teams, some students have been very unlucky and had to quarantine not once, not twice, but three times since the school year started. One of those students is Kylie Reif, but this week she just got quarantined for the fourth time. Kylie was a part of the girls’ soccer team this fall. The team as whole had to quarantine twice. Both of those times were for two full weeks. So Kylie was quarantined twice through soccer, once through basketball, and once through classroom contact tracing making a total of eight weeks stuck at home. “Honestly, there isn’t one way to describe quaratine because it’s different for overyone. For me, it feels like an endless weekend. It’s nice and relieving at first but then you realize everything is still moving on without you. It’s difficult to keep up. The hardest part is remaining motivated but I’ve discovered that keeping yourself on a schedule is the best thing to do. You just have to force yourself to keep going whether that means getting in a workout or cranking out assignments,” said Reif.
This year has been hard in some aspect for everyone with this pandemic . This school is lucky to be able to offer school in-person or online. Even though getting contact traced a lot can be frustrating for some, it is part of life now. But, there are advancements happening everyday with new vaccines and students and teachers are hopeful that it won’t be too long until life can feel a little more normal again.