Schools Struggle To Combat COVID Surge

Mariana Mora, A&E Editor

As of January 6th of 2022, our school district confirmed that a total of 205 students and 59 staff members in West Springfield Public Schools tested positive for Covid-19, with 78 of those cases being in our school. Due to the Omicron strand, the spike in covid cases after the holiday break can clearly be seen as the number of empty seats in classrooms and the number of substitute teachers. Even with rapid covid testing, which is now offered at the nurse’s office, individual contact tracing among students became nearly impossible because of the increased number of cases.

Nurse Bonifilla commented, “To prevent the spread of Covid, everyone should be vaccinated and boosted; wear masks and wear them correctly to cover the nose and mouth; socially distance, and wash their hands frequently.”

Many students feel that more measures should be taken when it comes to slowing the spread of Covid. Students had similar opinions about being back in school after the break. 

“I was annoyed but not annoyed with the staff and teachers at our school,” said one sophomore. They went on to say, “My classmates’ attitudes on Covid are now very careless like never wearing their masks correctly in the hallways where everyone is on top of each other.”

We are in a surge right now. This strain is very contagious so everyone needs to be aware and to try their best to prevent the spread. ”

— Nurse Bonifilia

Another student, a senior, had a similar reaction. “It just makes me nervous because there are people that still refuse to get their vaccine, and it just lets the virus mutate more.” 

Many now feel like our school’s guidelines on Covid are not helping, especially when it seems like each day a student from each classroom was and is carrying the virus in some form. Nurse Bonifila added, “We are in a surge right now. This strain is very contagious so everyone needs to be aware and to try their best to prevent the spread.” 

When it comes to mandates and vaccinations on a national scale, the Biden administration is currently focused on all Americans fully vaccinated, with 61% of adults in the US getting vaccinated with at least two doses according to the CDC. This is better than what Biden and his administration expected by 2021. Still, nearly two years into the pandemic both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are contracting the virus. At the high school level, this means students and staff need to follow the safety guidelines and do their part to keep the virus from spreading.