Students with symptoms, or exposure, to COVID are being quarantined

Returning to in-person learning while in the middle of a pandemic has brought some new, unique problems.  When students or staff members have been exposed to, or test positive for COVID-19, they will be quarantined.

Attendance tech Mrs. Ana Garcia said, “A lot of kids stay home because of symptoms but it doesn’t mean they have the virus, it’s mostly parents being cautious.”

Quarantined students have to stay home for two weeks and get a negative COVID-19 test.  When someone gets quarantined it’s either they were near someone with the virus or they recently left the country. Unlike students, when staff gets exposed to the virus they report to the district and get screened for symptoms. 

When students are quarantined, it can be a challenge to keep up with school work.  Seventh-grader Samuel L. said, “It wasn’t that hard, except for if I needed something to be explained.”  

Distance learning and quarantine have many differences. In distance learning, students would wake up around 7:00-7:40, get ready, then join their seminar class at 7:50 AM. Students would have all their classes on Zoom with an hour of additional tutoring after lunch.  There was a lot of computer and screen time since no one could be on campus.

In quarantine, students wake up and unlike distance learning, there is no seminar for them to join since seminar last year was held on Zoom, and now MacArthur doesn’t offer online classes. When students get quarantined, there is the risk that they will not complete any school work. Also, the regular school day ends at 2:25 PM.  However, during distance learning, there were no mandatory classes after lunch.  This made the day a lot shorter.

Unfortunately, people under the age of 12 cannot get the COVID vaccine.  Social Studies Teacher Mr. Charlie Andres said, “If everyone got vaccinated we wouldn’t have to worry about it.” 

Due to students being quarantined, the absences have been going up. When someone gets quarantined instead of their absence being put into the system as health reasons, they have a special code that the district attendance came up with. The code is the number 3.

update – the quarantine period is now 10 days instead of two weeks.  Also, students do not have to quarantine when exposed if they are vaccinated and show no symptoms.