Any COVID-19 Policy May Not Protect Students

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Signs directing mask requirements greet entrants to campus.

Ryan Hosler, Staff Writer

Some may say that Lake Mary Preparatory School must take more serious measures to protect our students against COVID-19, but it may not actually do anything.

Our school, as well as many others throughout the nation, is following guidance from the CDC issued on July 27, 2021, recommending universal masking for teachers, staff, students, and visitors in all K-12 schools–regardless of vaccination status.

This new update retracted guidance from earlier in July allowing for vaccinated persons to go mask-free in schools. While CDC guidance is not law, many schools throughout Seminole County, as well as LMP, base their COVID-19 protocols on it.

On Aug. 10, the Seminole County School Board signed a 30-day mask requirement but gave parents the ability to opt-out if they didn’t want their children masked. This protocol was extended in Sept. to be revisited periodically. However, many school districts have required masks, defying executive order number 21-175, where Governor DeSantis prohibits county school boards from requiring face coverings. DeSantis as well as many other parents believe the decision on mask-wearing rests solely with the parents. A recent court decision sided with DeSantis on his mask ban.

Even though LMP has required masks, multiple cases caused the upper school to go virtual after the first week, proving that the measures taken can’t fully protect the community. The Delta Variant is more than 2x as contagious as previous variants and has shown that anyone can catch COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.

Another COVID-19 policy that should be reconsidered is exposure. If a student has recently recovered from COVID-19, has antibodies, or taken the monoclonal antibody therapy, they should not have to be quarantined if they are exposed again.

Regardless, anyone who is feeling sick should stay home. Everyone needs to work together to keep LMP’s community safe and healthy.