Students returning to school in the midst of Omicron

Boxes of masks and rapid tests provided by the Alberta Government for students and staff at Hughenden Public School were delivered on Tues. Jan 11. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by ECA Review

Boxes of masks and rapid tests provided by the Alberta Government for students and staff at Hughenden Public School were delivered on Tues. Jan 11. ECA Review/Submitted

The new COVID variant Omicron is spreading rapidly in Alberta, but that did not stop students at Hughenden Public School (HPS) from heading back to school on Jan. 10.

The stress of the current rise in numbers comes with new or reinforced precautions for schools.

The Alberta government and Buffalo Trail Public Schools (BTPS) Superintendent Rhae-Ann Holoien, have put restrictions and recommendations in place for the safety of students.

Masks have remained mandatory for students in Grades 4 – 12 and are recommended for K – 3 students.

Medical grade masks will be provided and are recommended for students and staff to use.

Rapid tests will also be provided to students for at-home use.

Fully vaccinated people who show symptoms will now have to be isolated for five days or until symptoms disappear, while people who are not vaccinated or only have one dose need to be isolated for 10 days or until symptoms disappear.

The anticipation of the return doesn’t phase some students, however. 

“I don’t mind it honestly,” says Anna Jones, a Grade 7 HPS student. “I want to be back”.

Along with those restrictions come ones affecting sports. To lessen the number of contacts of students, school games have been postponed until next month.

This change in pace may affect some students who enjoy their sports. 

“I care 100 per cent” says Jaylynn McQuaid, a Grade 9 student at HPS. “I feel angry because I want to play sports and I don’t want it shut down.”

Although students are going back to school, changes may occur quickly due to the rapid spread of the new variant. 

 

by Hailey Jones and Breanna McQuaid

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