Plethora of Precautions Recommended as Omicron Cases Rise

Increased case numbers create need for precautions

Max Yousha, Staff Writer

Students participate in in-person school by adhering to mask precautions (Betsy Fries)

With the Omicron COVID-19 variant on a high rise recently, it is more important than ever to take necessary precautions to stay safe. The aforementioned variant has greatly impacted the Blake School through school and sports, causing students and teachers to have to quarantine from extracurricular activities and classes due to getting COVID.

In the upper school, as of the morning of January 19th, 2022, there were 36 active student cases, 3 active teacher cases, and 51 total close contacts. The takeover of the Omicron variant causes teachers to teach students in the classroom while also teaching a few students on zoom. English teacher Cory Tao explained the additional struggles teachers face, saying “With Omicron on the rise, and students having to go remote more frequently, the technology piece is really jarring … It was hard to do it [remote teaching] last year, but you kind of got into the rhythm of it, and then to have to quickly start it again, it’s really difficult.” 

Due to  increasing case numbers, students and teachers need to take every precaution they can to stop Omicron from spreading around the school. To start, Blake has had a mask mandate in place and has been very adamant about students wearing the masks over their noses. Dr. Ruggiero sent out an email right before the second semester started, stating that if students are seen with masks below their nose, they will have to report to grade deans; if the situation were to be repetitive, the student(s) will face punishment. Blake also recommends that students and teachers upgrade to the N95 and KN95 masks, as also recommended by the CDC. Along with that, most of the Blake community has at least two of their Covid vaccine shots, many also receiving their booster. Until the Omicron variant dies down, the best Blake students and teachers can do is to keep masking and social distancing, and take necessary precautions to stay safe from this very transmissible variant.