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Adjusting to COVID-19 protocols on campus

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

By Claire Pham and Sophia Qin Sep. 29, 2021

Bertina Fan Photo

Following the return to in-person school, there have been many noticeable changes in hygiene standards to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks: students are required to wear masks, not allowed to eat indoors and advised to frequently wash their hands. However, despite these new regulations, the student body and staff have voiced concerns about the efficacy of the school’s sanitation protocols.

In an attempt to keep students and staff safe, janitorial staff have increased their responsibilities and are cleaning the campus more frequently. For example, Maria Palillo, night-shift custodian, is now required to clean door handles daily and check the bathrooms every two hours.

“The majority of students follow the mandate, and I am happy that

they do. However, I am wary of the select few that choose to try and combat the rules,” Junior Leo Jolissaint said.

Bertina Fan Photo

Many of the student population follow COVID-19 protocols like wearing masks and washing their hands often to maintain a low-risk environment. Sophomore Sharon Kim states that she feels safe on-campus and that she is grateful for

the sanitary products available in the classrooms. However, although the school’s effort is recognized, other students believe that there is still room to improve.

“My main concern about sanitation in school is classroom equipment because many people are touching the same things, such as bathroom passes, rulers and scissors, and they are never thoroughly wiped down.” Sophomore Nicole Ngo said.

Additionally, students who do not have their own water bottles drink from the public water fountains, but this also raises concerns because fountains can be a source of infections. Students like Freshman Songhee Rha are wary about contracting COVID-19 when using Bertina Fan Photo drinking fountains.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, water fountains should be temporarily banned to prevent the virus from spreading. I think the safest solution is for the school to sell bottled water,” Rha said.

In addition to students, some teachers are also concerned about classroom hygiene. Although they are attempting to make their classrooms safe, several teachers argue that the district is not supplying adequate amounts of disinfecting material.

“The sanitizer I have in my classroom is what I had from previous years, so it seems like the district does not think we need a lot of it. However, we can always use more since we can never be too safe,” Chris Barros, Foreign Language Department, said.

Teachers and janitors are not the only ones taking provisions: students are also taking action to ensure everyone’s safety during the pandemic. Several students were concerned about maskless viewers during the first football home game on Sept. 4, as many spectators did not wear masks or social distance.

“I feel incredibly uncomfortable knowing that a significant number of students do not care about our safety and are actively flaunting their attendance at no-mask sporting events,” Senior Aaron Shih said.

Although the majority of students and staff are taking COVID-19 protocols seriously, it is difficult to mandate them with everyone back at school. The school will continue to enforce COVID-19 protocols, and many students envision more consequences for violating school precautions such as conferences between parents and teachers and the principal.

Both students and administrative staff want to foster a safe environment, away from potential risk factors.

About the Contributors

Claire Pham

Media Editor/ Staff Writer

Claire Pham is a Leland sophomore. She is currently apart of the media team in Advanced Journalism. She enjoys watching new shows, hanging out with friends, and listening to different types of music.

Sophia Qing

Staff Writer

Sophia Qin is a freshman at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. During her free time, she loves dancing, baking, reading, hanging out with friends and family, and drawing.

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