COVID cases rapidly rising at HHS

HHS is still in person after almost 900 cases district wide and the pressure for remote increases.

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The HHS Hub stands empty with rising COVID cases.

Lindsay Hunter

The second semester of the 2021-2022 school year has begun. Students have reunited with each other at school after their two week long winter break from vacations across the world. Friendships are not the only thing that is getting rekindled however, as morale rises, so do districtwide COVID cases.

District 158 sends out daily emails regarding the amount of cases they receive daily  COVID cases, and recently District 158 has changed their system; now a link must be clicked to access a spreadsheet of total cases rather than receiving new daily cases. The first three days back to school had over 30 cases a day. It was not long after when the switch occurred.

Huntley High School has over 200 students and teachers in quarantine and many have inquired whether or not the district plans on going remote again. District 158 has over 900 cases in total. 

“We are a little more out of the woods than we were last week because we needed 32 subs in addition to what we already had. Staffing is what would cause the most issues for us,” principal Marcus Belin said.

Colleges across the country have responded to rising numbers by going remote the first two weeks of the year after winter break to prevent the spread of disease.

“I can’t help but feel that if we went remote for the first two weeks cases wouldn’t have been skyrocketing,” senior Kyleigh Higgins said. “People that went on vacation would have recovered by this time and our numbers would have been better.”

HHS has responded to rising cases by encouraging students to wear their masks properly and increasing shield testing. There have not been many precautions put in place to stop the spread of the disease.

The CDC has shortened the COVID-19 quarantine period to five days. HHS has incorporated this into daily school by making students returning from quarantine sit in the central gym at their own secluded tables amongst perfectly healthy students.

“Sitting in the central gym and seeing all the kids that just had COVID right there is not reassuring at all,” senior Emma Farr said. “It almost feels like the district is trying to rush our recovery to lower the case count.”

Pressure from parents and students alike to go remote has been expressed in countless Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts.

“I get emails daily from parents. I get emails from students and when I say I get emails, it’s not like an overwhelming amount. It’s like one or two here or there,” principal Marcus Belin said. “I just explained to the parents that Dr. Rowe’s mission is to keep our buildings open. It’s something he’s committed to because we know the benefits.”

HHS students and staff must continue to wear their masks properly to try and slow the spread of the disease in the school.