COVID testing and cases at FHS

COVID+testing+and+cases+at+FHS

Shraddha Sriram, Staff Writer

As of press time, there have been 12 positive cases for COVID-19 at Fremont High School. Those who test positive are to be quarantined for 10 days since the day the test was taken and antigen testing is provided every Friday near the Fair Oaks room from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. The district has also updated the air filtration systems as coronavirus aerosol particles emitted by an infected individual drift around in the air increase the likelihood of transmission by being far greater in enclosed spaces than out in the open.

“I will say, as a district, they spent a lot of time and money to make sure the air filters and the HVAC are really good,”  FHS Principal Bryan Emmert said. “We don’t have a lot of spaces where air just sits.”

In addition to the new HVAC systems, classrooms, restrooms, food areas, offices and general areas are disinfected daily.

According to the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health’s page on Coronavirus and Education Programs, all positive results from school testing sites and hospitals are required to be reported to the county. This network allows the school to alert staff and students on the site about the positive result through emails. Those who were within a six feet distance for more than 15 minutes are considered to have been in close contact. Students who were in close contact with an infected individual will receive an additional email that asks for one’s vaccination status and instructs the student to monitor any symptoms. Students who are free of symptoms and have proved their vaccination status are allowed to return to school. Unvaccinated students are to provide a negative test before returning to campus or quarantine for seven days.

“Even after you got the email, it’s not like anything in your classes actually changed, like, if I was sitting next to someone,” sophomore Katie Chen, who received a COVID-19 exposure notice, said. “The teachers didn’t like to try to move the desks apart or anything and we were still sitting in groups and interacting a lot. Which I thought was not the best idea.”

However, those who were in close contact with the eleventh case had a different way of notification. The email was not able to be sent out, causing students to be pulled out of class to be informed about their exposure.

“I was given a slip from the office and was called down to the cafeteria, then they had like, a small group that was exposed and said, ‘You were here because of a COVID exposure,’” sophomore Aljona Reyno said. “They asked if I was vaccinated, and the first dose and second date. [They] just trusted me.”

Those who test positive for COVID with a rapid or an at-home test are required to take a PCR test to confirm the positive result, as rapid and at-home tests are less accurate.

“I tested positive, I told the school, the school was like ‘Hey, get an official test,’ and then 10 days from this test, you can come back,” an anonymous FHS senior said. “I felt like the necessary precautions were taken for safety and for making sure it’s not spreading. I was a little bit afraid that I would be treated differently when I got to school, thankfully I wasn’t.”