COVID-19: It’s Here.

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Joia Traver, Reporter/Photographer

The cat is out of the bag. As of September 29th, the Mountain Home High School has reported six positive cases of COVID-19 and multiple suspected close-contact students have been sent home. As the guidelines state for close contact, any person within six feet of another that has tested positive must quarantine if the time exceeds fifteen minutes. This has caused even more students to go into quarantine as a precaution for their circumstances. Students and teachers don’t have a definite grasp on what is yet to come of this mushroom effect, but only time will tell for long term results. 

The Mountain Home High School website explains guidelines for the coronavirus, “Definition of Probable Close Contact – District identified individuals that have likely been within 6 feet for 15 cumulative minutes or longer within a 24-hour period to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of the use of a face covering. This person(s) will be expected to self-quarantine immediately for 14 days from the last date of contact with the positive case and await their Close Contact status to be confirmed by ADH Contact Tracing.” 

As far as the testing goes, multiple students have endured the “brain swab” and have a general idea of what it’s like. MedExpress, the Health Unit, and Baxter Regional Medical Center are all places in town that are doing curbside testing and screening. The amount of time it takes to get results varies from place to place and it also depends on the type of test the person is getting. This is an important time period because, during this process, a student must stay home until their test results have come back negative. 

“I got sent home because my mom had gotten it, but during those two weeks I also felt very sick,” a high school student explains when asked about having to quarantine, “I tested negative and after those two weeks I am able to come back to school now.”

As the number of in-class students is rapidly decreasing, may it be because of close contact or just general precautions, most students have yet to know the specific guidelines. As schools have updated their policies, this high school has also updated some rules. 

“There are more lunch tables that are spaced out from each other in the courtyard now, and I think it will help more people will have the option to not eat inside around a lot of people,” sophomore Sierra Trogdon says.

Administrators are urging teachers to separate every student in their class to at least six feet apart, and have even told them to take their class elsewhere to maximize the distance between students. Students are prompted to wear their masks at all times and must stay twelve feet apart now to take their mask off. At lunch, if a student is not eating anything, they are to put their masks back on when socializing with other people. 

“It’s kind of a bummer having to quarantine because of someone else,” a student says, “It’s not only that I have to stay home now, but doing online school is a lot more difficult and I am afraid of falling behind everyone else.””

— -MHHS Student

If any student or staff member is curious about positive cases and more information with the Mountain Home High School, they can visit the school website here.