McLean’s COVID-19 protocols

Fairfax County Public Schools sets new requirements for schools in hopes of preventing COVID-19 outbreaks.

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Ready Room — Two isolation rooms have been designated for housing students who have been exposed to COVID-19. The rooms contain the bare essentials. (Photo by Andy Chung)

With school back in person, Fairfax County Public Schools has implemented new rules and protocols for the 2021-2022 school year.

“Students that are not feeling well will go to the clinic. Then, the clinic will put you in the care room, and the parent is notified,” Principal Ellen Reilly said.

McLean created two rooms designated for dealing with COVID-19. The rooms are located near the upper gym and are equipped with beds and cleaning supplies. The care rooms are designed to temporarily place sick students away from the general population.

“After use, we have the custodian come out and clean it down and it’ll be shut down for a long period of time, and then the next care room would be used,” Reilly said.

All schools in Fairfax County are required to have designated holding rooms for students that are showing symptoms. Schools are also required to have seating charts of every student from all teachers.

“We have a copy of all the seating charts so that we can send it to the health department,” Reilly said.

The seating charts are used to locate students and teachers that had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If a student tests positive, they are required to inform the school. The school will then send the seating charts to the health department, where students that had close contact will be contacted.

“It is good to see that the school is taking a lot of steps to make our return to school as safe as possible,” said senior Michaela Aka. “I’m hoping COVID-19 cases stay low so that we can stay in-person.”

Fairfax County Public Schools are taking these procedures very seriously as a potential schoolwide outbreak would lead to students and teachers going back to online school. According to Reilly, 98% of all teachers in Fairfax County are fully vaccinated. Students are now required to show vaccination proof to participate in sports.

“It’s good to see that the [administrators] are trying their best to make our school experience smooth sailing,” junior Joshua John said. “I hope this will continue so that we can stay in-person.”