Eureka leads Rockwood School District in student quarantines


Grace Walton

Students wear masks and use hand sanitizer before entering a class room, Nov 13.

Eureka High School is leading in the Rockwood School District high school’s staff and student quarantines. After 80% of the student population returned to in-person learning, 12 students have tested positive and 112 students have had to quarantine. Eureka also leads the district in staff quarantine with less than 10 testings positive and 22  in quarantine. 

Rockwood currently has procedures set in place in the case of a student testing positive or being in contact with a positive case. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they should immediately isolate along with any ‘close contacts’, or students who were within 6 feet of that student for 15 minutes or longer. If a student’s family member tested positive, they should also isolate. If a student was in the general vicinity of close contact or the positive case for less than 15 minutes, they don’t need to isolate. 

Lauryn Pyatt, a junior at Eureka, is one of the students who recently tested positive and has had to quarantine. 

“I was in the car coming back from getting my weekly COVID test. A nurse did a rapid test and a normal one that would be sent to the labs. I work at a nursing home and we have to be tested weekly. My mom freaked me out a little bit, she was the one who called me and told me. I was a little scared and it just didn’t feel real that I had it,” Pyatt said. 

Students who test positive or are in close contact are required to quarantine for 10-14 days and still attend school through virtual learning. 

“At first quarantine wasn’t so bad, it was nice to be isolated and to be all be myself. It gets very lonely after a while. I can’t touch my family or even leave my loft. What sucks the most is not being able to hug my mom by far. My mental health isn’t being helped by this; school is even more stressful because I can’t go back in person for a while and the online kids aren’t helped as much as the in-person kids in my opinion,” Pyatt said. 

As for students who are still in school, health procedures established by the district before the return to in-person learning are still being used. 

“Our health and safety guidelines and our ability to follow these guidelines are still our best prevention. If you are experiencing symptoms, please stay home. If you have a pending COVID test, please stay home until receiving a negative test result. If you have anyone in your home with a pending COVID test, please stay home until receiving a negative test result. It’s going to take all of us working together to turn this tide,” Corey Sink, Eureka High School Principal, said. 

Eureka was the largest in-person high school returning, and while some students have switched back to virtual learning since the return, according to Sink, Eureka remains an overwhelmingly in-person high school. 

For some students, like Pyatt, seeing the pandemic first-hand has changed their perspective on the situation.

“It made me more aware of how potentially harmful it can be. I’m a healthy 17-year-old teenager, so it hasn’t affected me too much. However, some of the weaker residents at the nursing home where I work have passed away. It’s definitely scary for the elderly and high-risk people,” Pyatt said. 

At this time, there are no plans to change the in-person learning plan, nor send students back into virtual learning, according to Sink.