Hull schools set impressive record when it comes to COVID-19 control
It’s easy to think of a coronavirus case in a classroom and be terrified. Fifteen to 20 people, in an indoor space, for at least 40 minutes? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. But as Hull High School ninth-graders prepare to return to school four days a week beginning this Monday, breathe a sigh of relief – because our system and our precautions work.
At the Jacobs Elementary School, where it seems like the spread of the coronavirus would be worse, it isn’t. Students there are remarkably contained. They move around the school as a group, with each classroom being its own cohort.
For example, in one class, a student contracted the virus and the whole class went fully remote. All other students were tested, and not a single one of them had COVID-19. Not a single one. It didn’t take long, and they were all able to return to the building quickly.
At the high school, the process is slightly more complicated. Some classes have a mix of grades, which can lead to more close contacts. Once contacts of someone who tests positive are identified, they quarantine and then are tested themselves, and most are back in no time.
The fact that the high school has gone fully remote only once should be a testament to the efficiency and effectiveness of all the precautionary measures being taken. But there’s more proof. The total number of cases in the schools since the start of the academic year is a mere 49, out of the roughly 900 students in the system.
None of this would be true if not for the many precautions we are taking: All desks are 6 feet apart (though this may be negotiated with the teachers’ union). Only one student is allowed in the bathroom at a time. Desks and chairs are wiped down after use, and windows often remain open despite the wintry temperatures.
Our students are as safe as they can be at school, thanks to our procedures and precautions.
Victoria Dolan is school correspondent for The Hull Times.