Schools’ Responses to Rising Covid Numbers

Courtney Weston , Copy Editor

Covid numbers have been on the rise due to the holidays. In our school alone, a large percentage of staff and students have been quarantined in the last weeks. Unfortunately, numbers like these are happening all over the country.

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“I think that the masks were necessary no matter how much people don’t like them. I think that acting sooner would have helped” ”

— Noah Ferris

Nationally, districts are left to their own devices on how they would like to move forward with mask mandates. For example, schools in Chicago have had so many outbreaks in their district that they reverted to virtual learning due to so many teachers being out with Covid. Not only are big cities going virtual, so are smaller districts, like Whiteville City Schools. 

In North Carolina, there are 115 school districts, and 69 (as of January 11th) of them require masks within schools. Including neighboring counties, New Hanover and Columbus County. As of January 12th Brunswick County mandated masks showing that schools believe that masks will help being down the rising numbers. 

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“It was responsible of the school board to wait, we didn’t know what was going on and they didn’t know what was going on””

— Miles Tierney

We have had a brutal hit here at West from the rising numbers. Sixty reported quarantined cases between students and 20 to sometimes 23% of our teachers having to quarantine because they have the virus or have been exposed. With such a large percentage from each group being quarantined, this will affect the students who can go to the classroom every day, causing them to get behind in the curriculum from their teacher or being out of school from something that they can not control. 

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“I don’t believe that the mandate should have been lifted to begin with. It should have stayed in place because everything just went back up afterwards””

— Jazmyne Moen

On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the school board held an emergency meeting at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the future of how Brunswick County schools will be handling the rising number of Covid-19 cases. As a result, the board decided to make Thursday and Friday workdays and mandate students to wear masks when returning to school on Tuesday, January 18th. This will provide the window for staff and students to have the required five-day quarantine.