Is the school district trying to make COVID harder to deal with?

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A visual representation of the new policy from the school district’s website

Jacob Reiter, Staff Writer

The school district of Pinellas recently implemented new COVID guidelines for schools and students to follow. Until now, schools were allowed to send home entire classrooms based on one positive test among the students. Personally, I think that this method was completely fine because it is always better to be safe than sorry. But, the district went and made things way too complicated.

The new policy summarized is that in addition to being six feet away from one another, students and staff must not have spent 15 minutes around an infected person in order to avoid being sent home by the school. This means entire classes aren’t going to be sent home at once anymore, as some students are seated farther away. However, if both of these criteria are met you will be sent home for a week to get a test and decide if you want to quarantine yourself longer. The way I see it, there are three main issues with this new policy. First of all, there is going to have to be a large amount of effort put into tracking who meets the criteria. How are schools supposed to know if you were around one person for 15 minutes? Second, a large majority of classrooms aren’t actually big enough to space students six feet apart. Lastly, what is the point of having a 15-minute time limit if the class periods are at minimum 45 minutes long?

Overall, this new policy is too complicated and ultimately fails in addressing the issue at hand and comes off as extremely tone-deaf.