Controlling COVID on the Cavalier Campus

Countless+in-person+students+and+teachers+have+been+sent+home+to+quarantine+as+cases+of+COVID-19+are+reported+at+Coral+Gables+Senior+High.

Sofia Cruz

Countless in-person students and teachers have been sent home to quarantine as cases of COVID-19 are reported at Coral Gables Senior High.

Sofia Cruz, News Editor

Coral Gables Senior High has been no stranger to COVID-19, with multiple students and faculty members who have tested positive since its staggered reopening in October. Countless in-person classes and teachers have been sent home to quarantine in order to contain the virus and prevent further spread. In the face of recent cases, Cavaliers might want to take a better look at how Gables has been affected by the Coronavirus, and how the school is handling health concerns on campus.

So far, over 30 of Gables’ teachers and staff members have been sent home. Quarantining is required of faculty members that have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for the Coronavirus. Once they have been notified, they must then remain at home for 14 days after their last moment of contact with that person. During this two-week period, educators hold all classes virtually to eliminate the risks of interacting with students. Teachers such as Ms. Santamaria have experienced firsthand what it is like to be quarantined.

“I was quarantined based on possible exposure to the virus. For my quarantine, like the standard procedure is for everyone else, I had to stay at home for two weeks. It was definitely harder to teach from My School Online, especially since I was online and my physical students did not receive as close a connection,” Ms. Santamaria said.

Students are also being directly affected, usually being sent home more often than their teachers. Over 250 Gables students so far have had to quarantine after reporting direct contact with the virus. High-schoolers are also required to stay home for 14 days, and they must attend virtual classes during that time. Students are not allowed to return to campus for physical classes if they still present symptoms of COVID-19, even if they quarantined for the full two weeks. These methods of prevention are strict, but successful in their containment.

Although I think our school should be closed, our principal is doing the best he can by sending staff and students home whenever a positive case appears. Fortunately, none of my teachers have gotten COVID-19 and I hope it says that way.”

— sophomore Sofia Pabón

Although the goal is to have all students return to on-campus classes, schools like Gables must ensure that all possible measures are taken to make gradual returns safe for everyone. This course of action has included sending home teachers and students as a response to direct contact with COVID-19. Although the back-and-forth of quarantining might seem confusing, it is necessary to keep the student body healthy.

“I think the administration has done an excellent job at contact tracing as they are efficiently sending students to quarantine within a day’s notice. I have noticed that even though they send home many students, they are more reluctant to send the teachers home to quarantine. I have heard a couple of complaints from my teachers and I agree with them,” freshman Amalia Garrido said.

Miami-Dad County Public Schools has already racked up almost 2,000 student and employee cases since Oct. 5. As of now, Gables has reported a total of nine cases, with six employees and three students who have contracted the virus. As Cavaliers are living in Florida, a hotspot for COVID-19, it remains imperative that all positive cases are reported and safety guidelines continue to be followed. Students should work together and cooperate with the administration to control COVID-19 on campus.