COVID-19 at Seminole: An Update


Rachel Lansperry

At Seminole High School the staff has been working tirelessly to make sure the students are in a safe covid-free environment. One precaution taken is using plexiglass to separate students.

Mahalla Hynes, Reporter

As we move into cold and flu season, there are a lot of questions and uncertainties. More people are going to get sick with similar symptoms as COVID-19, and the school is trying its best to keep everyone safe. Seminole County has had 268 cases, 15 of which have been at Seminole High School. There are many steps Seminole High School and the county are taking to keep everyone safe. 

Learning options are a significant way the county is keeping people safe. They have offered options so that families can make decisions for their family’s health and student’s learning style. Some students have chosen to participate in face to face and others have chosen Seminole Connect. This also keeps students out of the classroom, so students can sit further apart and not spread the virus as easily. 

Students are also required to wear masks, keeping students safe and protected from each other. This is one of the pinpoints in the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance in opening schools. Students and teachers in the classrooms can be safer when they are wearing masks. 

Sporting events and club meetings are other places students can spread COVID-19. Clubs have made efforts to keep people safe by transferring to online meetings. Seminole High School (SHS) has made efforts in keeping sports safe for players and the audience. They have limited stadium capacity and require masks so the observers can social distance. Tickets also must be purchased in advance to avoid not having enough space for everyone. 

Contact tracing is the process of finding the people an infected individual has come in close contact with. The CDC defines close contact as contact with anyone for 10 minutes or more within 6 feet of each other. Those who have been in close contact with a person, who tests positive, should quarantine for 14 days. The Seminole County Health Department has a process for contact tracing and works closely with schools to complete the process effectively. 

Additionally, the Seminole County Health Department “works closely with Seminole County and other community organizations to provide COVID-19 testing in the community, deliver important prevention messages and guidelines, interview those who test positive and link them to community resources and perform contact tracing for each positive individual to notify those they exposed to prevent the chain of transmission.”

They also recommend getting a flu shot to help prevent flu infection. While a flu vaccine does not prevent you from getting COVID-19, it reduces flu illness, hospitalization, and deaths. This will take some of the pressure off of the health system. With rising COVID-19 infections, this keeps people out of the hospital, leaves space for people with other illnesses, and takes stress off of health workers. 

As we move further into the pandemic, people are getting tired of the restrictions, the social distancing, and masks; the numbers reflect this. COVID-19 cases are rising. Pandemic fatigue is making transmission much easier.

The Seminole County Health Department said “As time goes on during the pandemic response, people may get tired of following guidelines or may no longer feel it’s necessary to continue to implement the prevention measures and start to gather among larger groups. Consistent messages and modeling prevention practices in our community are important to ensure these measures are followed so that we can reduce disease spread.”

It is imperative that people stay vigilant in practicing preventative measures, like proper handwashing, keeping at least 6 feet of distance, staying home if you are feeling ill, wearing masks, and getting flu shots to take the stress off our health systems.