COVID Update in Boone County

COVID Update in Boone County

Cami Deakins (Senior), editor

After winter break with the holidays, the United States has seen a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases, specifically the omicron variant. Because of so many people traveling, the virus has been able to spread like wildfire in places like Boone County, causing it to go back to the red zone. Previous to winter break, the Lebanon Community School corporation decided that masks would not be required at school when returning. That decision has since been reversed with the increase in cases.

“I can’t say I’m not disappointed with the continuation of the mask mandate because I feel like it really limits our communication with the teachers and other students. Plus, masks make me break out really bad and I hate when that happens,” said junior Alexandria Barr.

The superintendent of Lebanon schools, Dr. Milleman, is a large part of the decision-making process as far as mask mandates and when to switch to hybrid or virtual learning.

“I make the decision to go hybrid or virtual largely on staffing. We have to have the lunch staff, nurses/clinic staff, teachers, and administration. A big factor is transportation because of the number of students and parents that rely on the buses to get to school,” said Milleman.

Recently, Central elementary school has been put on virtual learning for a couple weeks because of the positive cases and close contact students out of school. Although this isn’t ideal, the rules have changed for quarantining and close contact tracing. The CDC reduced the time period for quarantine from 14 days to 5 and since students are wearing masks, they don’t have to quarantine unless they have symptoms.

“I know that we are all trying to do everything we can to stay in school because virtual learning is not an ideal situation, but we do have to keep everyone safe with everything going on. I don’t see us going to virtual or hybrid learning at this moment and I hope it stays that way,” said Milleman.