Article & Photo By: Alice Brookston
With students returning to in-person learning beginning on April 26, many individuals are wondering what are some ways that they can keep themselves safe on campus. While there’s talk of how to keep the masses safe, something the school’s administration is currently working towards, it’s also important that students themselves be informed of methods they can practice to keep themselves safe against the coronavirus, especially if they have not been vaccinated yet.
While vaccinations are slowly being opened up to more and more people, about half of the school’s population cannot get vaccinated yet, since many are under the age of 16. If you are over the age of 16 though, once your chance comes, make an appointment as soon as you can and within two weeks of your first shot your vaccine will already be 80% effective.
Now, for when those of you who do plan on returning to in-person learning arrive back on campus, make sure you have your essential COVID prevention items.
Start by making sure you have a clean mask to wear. I recommend either washing it or letting it air dry for a few days after you’ve worn it for an hour or more and replacing it with a fresh one on the daily. That being said, if you want to further increase your safety, try wearing a disposable mask and a cotton one on top. This way you’re further limiting your chances of accidentally catching the virus while at school.
Secondly, bring some hand sanitizer with you. In class, you may not have the opportunity to frequently wash your hands as often as you should, so bring in some hand sanitizer with you as a replacement. If you want to get fancy, you can go to places such as Bath & Body Works or Target and buy some different scents to your liking or even a sleeve that’ll attach to your backpack.
Additionally, if you want to further keep yourself safe, make a note to stay outside as often as you can and avoid taking off your mask inside. If you have to eat or drink, at the very least you can try to keep a distance of at least 6 feet from nearby staff or students.
In between classes, teachers will be cleaning their classrooms, plexiglass will be placed at desks which will be spaced apart, no more than 15 students will be in a class at a given time and students will be expected to clean their personal spaces before and after classes.
Piper Buchignani-Paris, a junior at Santa Rosa High School, said, “I’m going to make sure I’m following CDC safety guidelines and any rules set up by the school and teachers,” so that she can keep herself safe when returning to campus.
Additionally, Buchignani-Paris also said, “I got my first Pfizer vaccine last Friday (April 16). I will also be continuing to wear my mask and social distance at school. Also lots of hand sanitizer and hand washing,” when discussing ways she was planning on using to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 when returning to in-person classes. Students are excited to return to campus, but safety is important to remember too when coming back to in-person classes.
Teachers and staff on campus will also be able to provide both masks and hand sanitizer if you forget it, and there will also be hand washing stations in various locations on campus. Additionally, don’t forget to fill out your daily health check-ins via Parent Square. Be smart out there Panthers and have a safe return to campus!