How Covid-19 is Affecting School Life

Delaney Rice

On March 13, 2020, the Pottsgrove school district was closed for two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. As it became widespread, schools all around the world were closed. In many districts, this continued into the following school year. When schools began to reopen, many were concerned about what efforts would be made by the Pottsgrove High School to protect students and staff. These efforts would be a source of much debate and controversy not only here, but across the world. 

According to the,  during the week of October 10th to October 17th, there have been 94 hospital admissions from COVID-19 and 19 deaths in the past 7 days in Montgomery County alone. During that week, there have been over 20k COVID-19 tests performed and over 5% percent of those coronavirus tests were positive. Over 70% of the 12 and over community in Montgomery County are fully vaccinated. This data suggests that we all need to continue to be vigilant regardless of vaccination status. 

Our schools in the district are under the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, so any guidelines they have our schools follow. The entire Pottsgrove school district has mandated masks for everybody who enters our buildings. At various locations throughout our schools, there are hand sanitizer dispensers to limit contamination and keep our hands clean. Staff enforces at least 3 feet of distance between students, especially during lunch periods. The cafeteria is a very populated area of our school. To limit the risk of contracting COVID-19, the Pottsgrove high school is limiting the capacity in the lunch room by providing seats in the auxiliary gym and seats outside. Students use a QR code once they take their seats at lunch to assist staff in contact tracing. This is a system used by our school to track a students location during the day in case they get exposed to COVID-19. Once staff is notified what student was exposed, they sanitize these locations to limit risk of further student and staff exposure. Please view this link for more information on what guidelines our district follows. Montcopa

I had the opportunity to speak with Nurse Emery and Nurse Barber regarding our schools efforts within the district to keep us safe. They both believe that our district is taking the proper safety precautions to keep staff, students, and visitors safe. From Nurse Emery, “All schools in our district are connected through a system that lets us know if a student has been exposed or has symptoms to notify the other schools if they have any siblings to keep exposure contained”. She continued, “Additionally, our school has an isolation room with a ventilation system that protects exposed and non-exposed students before a parent or guardian can pick them up.” 

 Some students or staff may not agree with these guidelines mandated by our school or state. However, it is important to understand the reasoning behind these efforts is the safety of all staff, visitors, and students. I believe this is something we all can agree on.