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Paw Print Shorts: COVID-19 new variant brings changing school guidelines

Recently, a new variant of COVID-19 started to wreak havoc and increase the infected rate of the worldwide population by a shocking amount of 58 million, three times the amount of those being infected when it made its first appearance.

Schools are heavily affected by this, having to increase the safety protocols for both the teachers, staff and students.

Some of the following changes include stricter health regulations, as everyone on campus is still required to get a booster shot even if they tested negative. Weekly testing is also required if the student participates in band, sports or other close contact activities. In my opinion, some of the changes are positive, while others are unnecessary and negatively impact the learning environment for the students.

The best part about the new safety protocols is the free-of-cost weekly virus testing for people in close-contact activities, as it quickly prevents infected people from spreading  COVID-19 by catching the disease early on. I also liked the idea of giving the people that tested negative to be required to get a booster shot, as that strengthens people’s immunity  against  COVID-19 and decreases the chances of breakthrough  infections

However, the fact that you are not able to get a COVID-19 test immediately after you get quarantined makes the learning experience at school way harder for some students. The school is running so low on substitute teachers to the point that the main teachers have to step in for the teachers that are also quarantined.

This affects the students’  ability to digest learning material, as substitute teachers are oftentimes not able to teach concepts as well as their more experienced counterparts. Even after teachers inevitably make their return back to the classroom, they would have to cram a bunch of lessons in one teaching session in order to ensure that their students have a comprehensive understanding of their work.

In conclusion, the implementation of the new safety protocols is crucial in keeping everyone safe and healthy from the new variant. By doing this, lowers the risk of catching the virus but also lowers the learning opportunities for the students.

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