A necessary trace

SHS has a strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus


Kayla Brown

SHS plans to use contact tracing in case of a positive case of COVID-19. This process was already used when a SHS football player tested positive.

The Coronavirus has affected many things across the world but as time passes by parts of the world slowly opens up. For SHS students, the most prevalent rules that have been set in place are to help with what is known as contact tracing. 

The new rules, students have to sit in assigned seats in all their classes, sit with their classes during lunch and separate by last names so staff can monitor students as closely as possible.

Contact tracing helps the school administration track down students and teachers that might’ve been in contact with another staff member or student who has the disease. Instead of sending the entire school population home, only people exposed to the infected person have to be sent home. 

“The goal is to help keep students and staff safe,” school nurse Bethany Mendez said.” “And to slow the spread of coronavirus.” 

It is important to the school that the amount of COVID-19 cases does not increase among the student population since they are informing students and teachers. If it increases, it will take a while for everything to go back to normal. To help decrease the chance of a student getting COVID-19, the distance between students is carefully monitored.

Principal Brian Knight says if students do have sickness or COVID-19 they are sent back home until they are no longer a threat to anyone at school, The school has sent out messages through Student Square and Parent Square explaining that students are advised to stay at home if they are sick.  

 “I think that’s hopefully the point,” Knight said. “If you have somebody that has been in contact with somebody who tested positive, you can do that appropriately and exclude some kids from school, and let them do virtual for a while. Then, if somebody else does get sick, then they’re not infecting someone else.”

Knight says that the school does not have to do contact tracing if people are within six feet of each other for less than 15 minutes at a time. However, this is something hard to do considering the number of students who are crowded in the hallways and the cafeteria. 

“We would have to look and see who they were sitting around in the cafeteria, you know, especially since we’re taking masks off to eat,” Knight said.

Mendez said although contact tracing might not be the perfect solution to stop the disease from infiltrating the school, the health department is enforcing it.  

“They’ve been doing it through the health department for quite a while before the school year started,” Mendez said.