Could new recommendations affect school?


Esteban Serrano, Lead Editor

In part of the intensity of COVID-19 cases on the rise in Bexar County, it was recommended on Tuesday by Metro Health that schools, whether public or private, not continue in-person instruction. Bars as well, were ordered by Judge Nelson Wolff, to remain closed until further notice as of December 10, following the surge.

On Tuesday, December 8, Metro Health reported 1,294 new cases, with a 7-day average of 1,113 cases. This brings the overall case count to 89,490.

It has been exactly two weeks since the Thanksgiving holiday, with all of it playing out just now, as mentioned by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff during the briefing on Tuesday night. “There’s no doubt we’re seeing the affects of Thanksgiving, I believe.”

The school risk level is now in the ‘red zone.’ This means that schools are not recommended to carry out in-person classes, unless they are “in small pods of six or less and special education students, at-risk students, and students who lack resources for necessary virtual learning,” Mayor Ron Nirenburg said.

In a statement released by Central Catholic Principal Stephen Walswick via Aeries on Wednesday, December 9, he said “Our COVID Response Team has evaluated this along with other external and internal factors. Based on their review, they are not recommending changing our current plans for the remainder of this semester. I support this recommendation especially since we have not seen a significant number of cases in our school community.”

He continues, “If you are not comfortable sending your son to campus on his designated A/B Day, please notify the attendance office so that we know that you are aware of your son’s location. If this is the case, your son is more than welcome to access his classes via the Zoom links in Aeries.”

So with all of these new local recommendations, The Pep contacted Ali Gojahmofrad, Dean of Students at Central Catholic, to give a brief insight on how this could affect the Central Catholic Community, with only a week left to go consisting of semester exams.

Goljahmofrad stated on Wednesday that the school’s COVID response team was to “give their input,” and discuss a plan moving forward.

Nearly 28 hours later, Goljahmofrad emailed back, with what they plan to do. He says, “Central plans to continue monitoring all factors with the COVID Response Team and adjust as they see fit.”

Another lingering question some might have is: what will have to happen for Central to completely go remote once more? Goljahmofrad says “A circumstance where we are unable to effectively carry out tracing to quarantine the necessary people. In this case, we’d go fully online to avoid any additional risk.”

To make sure these last few days on campus before break are safe enough, Goljahmofrad says “Continue to carry out the extremely-effective protocols we have in place that have prevented even a single on-campus transmission. ”

The CDC is also recommending not to stress this holiday season, and to do what is “best for you and your loved ones.” Remember to also wear a face covering, attempt to physically distance yourself, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer as an alternative, and to be safe.

Mr. Cassler
Mr. Cassler