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Students Respond to new CDC COVID -19 Guidelines

Walking down the hallways, students keep their masks on after the mask mandate, March 25, 2022. (Image courtesy of Anna Royal)

A recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made changes to the isolation recommendations for people who test positive for COVID-19. This decision has created variousreactions from Redwood students.

The updated guidelines, announced by the CDC, reduce the recommended isolation period for COVID-19 positive individuals from ten days to five days, provided that symptoms are getting better and there is no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. Additionally, people who test positive are advised to continue wearing masks for an additional five days when around others. Opinions among students regarding this changevary. Max Ivey, a freshman at Redwood, expresses his optimism about the revised guidelines. While talking about the benefits of a shorter isolation period, Ivey highlights the importance of making sure that students are not bringing symptoms to school that could potentially spread the virus.

“I think it’s good that kids don’t have to stay home for a week,” Ivey states, “but I also think they should quarantine for at least 24 hours or preferably two days to ensure they are not bringing symptoms to school that could get their friends and teachers sick.”

On the other hand, Angie Herman, a junior, voices concerns about the potential risks with the shortened isolation period, particularly for individuals with weakened immune systems. She acknowledges the challenges of balancing academic needs with public health but highlights the importance of honesty when testing for covid as well as reporting being sick.

“I think it would be dangerous for people with a weak immune system,” Herman says, “but it could also be helpful for people who can’t miss school.”

Several healthcare professionals, including Dr. Sandra Patel, have expressed reservations about the updated guidance. Dr. Patel’s concerns highlight that the shortened isolation period may create risks such as increased transmission, especially in populated areas like schools. This viewpoint is important for Redwood as it stresses the importance of considering maintaining certain guidelines to help keep students and staff safe. 

However Reed Werner, also a junior, expresses support for the CDC’s decision and trusts its credibility. He acknowledges that the revised guidelines will cause a quicker return to activities and does not think that it could have possible negative effects on the Redwood community. 

“I agree with the decision that the CDC made,” Werner says, “and I’m glad people can return to activities quicker.”

In response to the updated guidelines, opinions on how Redwood should react differ. Ivey suggests mandating a longer isolation period and retesting,

“I think schools should mandate that someone who gets COVID-19 should stay at home for at least two days. Also, they should ensure they retest just to make sure they are clear to go back to school.”

Herman advocates for increased testing and honesty with results, stating,

“I definitely think that the school should test their students for COVID and promote honesty with their results.” 

Meanwhile, Werner takes a different stance, believing that schools should simply follow the CDC guidelines without additional precautions, stating, 

” I think that the CDC is credible and that the school follow these guidelines and shouldn’t have to take any extra precautions.”

The revised COVID-19 CDC guidelines have received very different reactions among students at Redwood. While some welcome the shorter isolation period as a step towards normalcy, others express concerns about potential risks. The differing perspectives show the complexity of balancing academic needs and public health measures. As the school community undergoes these changes, ongoing collaboration will be crucial in ensuring the safety and well being of our school.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Milan
Matthew Milan is a junior at Redwood Highschool and is a Cub Reporter for the Redwood Bark. In his free time he enjoys listening to music, traveling, and hanging out with his friends.