Are COVID-19 Safety Procedures on Campus Working?

Are+COVID-19+Safety+Procedures+on+Campus+Working%3F

Ethan Tornberg, Reporter

Changing times call for drastic measures to ensure the safety of all Enochs students and staff. 

With in-person learning returning campus-wide this year, safety procedures are in place to protect students and staff from a potential Covid-19 infection. Administrators and public safety officials have implemented protocols to slow the transmission of the Covid-19 virus on campus, such as mandating mask-wearing indoors, and quarantine measures when a student is confirmed positive. 

But are they working? 

With the fourth highest weekly infection rate in Modesto City Schools of 0.523% as of 5 pm on September 21st, according to the COVID dashboard, an anonymous Enochs High School student describes the situation as, “An indescribable feeling that there is an ever-present threat that something might spread.” This is a growing fear that many students have with the return of in-person learning. 

When the student was asked if they have been seeing masks worn properly by students and staff indoors they responded, “Most of them do, but some definitely do not. Pretty much every day I see some kids not wearing it at all.”

Expanding on that, they were asked whether or not they have witnessed teachers enforcing this policy indoors, “No, not really. Most teachers don’t say anything. Sometimes at the start of class they say ‘masks above the nose’ but after they don’t really say anything.”

In order to slow the spread of this virus, following the implemented safety procedures will be a key and necessary effort by all Enochs students and staff. 

Ms. Hammond, an Enochs math teacher, says that, “For the most part they are following” proper mask-wearing procedures while in the halls and classrooms. She also believes that there is a sort of  “mask fatigue” among the student body that contributes to students’ actions when it comes to mask-wearing. 

Many students and parents are apprehensive of further restrictions or mandates on the student body by the school district. However, in order to ensure the complete safety of the students and staff, the possibility of new safety measures such as vaccine mandates for Enochs students may come into consideration. 

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest public school district in the nation, recently took steps to mandate vaccinations for all students by the end of the 2021 calendar year. This came after the State of California implemented a vaccine mandate in early August 2021 for all school staff to provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly Covid-19 testing. 

When prompted with the question of whether they thought a mandate was imminent, the unnamed Enochs student responded calling it the “easiest” option to enforce. 

Ms. Hammond stated that she thinks a vaccine mandate would “Possibly, eventually” be instituted in the district, but not right away. 

While Modesto City Schools may be slow to follow actions similar to that taken by the Los Angeles Unified School District, the possibility of a vaccine mandate for all students to continue attending in-person learning still remains a possibility.