The Change of COVID Protocols for the 2021-2022 School Year

Meghan Tucker, Reporter

Wantagh High School responded to the threat of COVID-19 with online classes, mask mandates, desk barriers, hallway constraints, no tangible physical education activities, and hardly any sports. But compared to that, the year 2021 has been a wave of sunshine. While masks are still mandated, a variety of different restrictions have been lifted, increasing students’ positive moods for the school year. 

Mrs. Puglisicombs, Wantagh High School’s nurse, says that the symptoms have differed since last year. She said, “The symptoms have a wider range. It includes fever, shortness of breath, or a cough. We have had more cases this September than last, but October was much better.” 

The good thing is that there is no more “scooping” students, even when siblings are infected. Her recommendation for students and teachers to maintain COVID safety protocol, is to wear your masks and wash your hands!

During the 2020 school year, student-athletes involved in high risk sports, like basketball and wrestling, needed to be tested every weekend. Mrs. Puglisicombs approves each athlete’s Family ID and works with Ms. Keane, Wantagh High School’s Athletic Director, to closely monitor athletes with symptoms and maintain quarantines. These are necessary measures in order to keep all sports active.

On-sight vaccination in Wantagh is a prominent part of this whirlwind as well. According to Mrs. Puglisicombs, “It is actually not through the school, but through the town. Mt. Sinai Hospital’s team of nurses go to different community outreach programs and speak to them at length.” They are trying to make it as easy as possible for citizens in each community who want the vaccine as well as become informed in order to protect the vulnerable. 

We have all seen firsthand that so many things can change in just one year. How schools handle these situations define their character. Although there are differences of opinions on certain things, the main concern comes down to the health and safety of the students. Mrs. Puglisicombs as well as other faculty members make sure of this.