Covid-19 still threatens AHS, despite decrease in cases

While the number of Covid-19 cases has seen a decrease at AHS from the winter, the threat of the pandemic is not yet over. Students are still being put on pause because they tested positive for Covid or they were in contact with someone who tested positive.
“I think that AHS has done a pretty good job handling Covid,” senior Madeline Dosen said. “There weren’t too many case breakouts, so the mitigation strategies seem to have been effective.”
Throughout May, teachers have been receiving emails detailing the number of cases that were reported for that day.
“I think we’ve received something like five of those emails in the last week? The most was six reported cases in a day at AHS, which was concerning,” English teacher Sasha Duran-Russell said.
There has been an uptick in cases in the past few weeks. This is likely due to the warmer weather which leads to more socializing among students.
“I have occasionally but rarely seen students get put on pause lately, probably half the rate from the winter. I think some of that is due to the district’s ‘you can still test positive and come to school’ policy which I sincerely do not understand,” history teacher Matthew O’Neill said.
AHS is still recommending that students and staff still wear a mask, although no longer required by the county and state government. There is a fairly even split of teachers and students who do not wear a mask and those that do.
“I still wear a mask regularly and will for the remainder of the year out of an abundance of caution and respect,” O’Neill said.
Currently there are no plans for new Covid regulations or requirements for next school year.
“I think AHS handled it about as well as they could, within the parameters that FCPS set, and did a generally good job adjusting to any changes that were thrown our way by the state and federal governments,” Duran-Russell said. “I appreciated that we had a strong mask and vaccination culture here, especially through the fall and winter. It was also great that Annandale hosted so many vaccination clinics throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2021.”