Universal and Local COVID-19 Safety Protocols/Tips


Matilda McLaren, News Editor

By now, the global coronavirus pandemic has definitely made itself known by the world. The wrath it has placed on society includes countless casualties, economic troubles, unemployment, and much more. The virus spreads rapidly and easily. The primary way in which coronavirus can be transmitted is through fomites (a medical term for infected droplets that exit people’s noses and throats when they sneeze or cough). Therefore, it is spread through close contact to sick persons. 


            The United States is currently exceeding all other countries in regards to coronavirus related cases at nearly 6,000,000 according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Reported data from the Dupage County Health Department states that Dupage county comprises 14,459 of the total 6,000,000 cases.


During this widespread pandemic and general sense of panic within the climate of our country, it is integral to place importance on the safety of ourselves and our own communities. This includes knowing and implementing safety measures with certain strictness. 


When speaking in regards to local measures, provided below are some predetermined regulations created by the Glenbard 87 district (in alignment with state guidance and CDC) if/when schooling is inevitably redirected to in-person instruction. As of August 31st via Principal Sandra Coughlin of Glenbard South, this discussion will be reevaluated at the later date of October 13th. Additional protocols exist for anyone entering the school or participating in activities on-campus.


The moment any staff, students, or general visitors (without exemption) chooses to enter the threshold of the building the district must perform a habitual temperature and symptom screening test. Anyone who has a temperature greater than 100.4 F or any of the symptoms indicating custody of the virus will be advised to either leave such premises (this is specifically in regards to students during a school day) or escorted to a private room. 


In addition to thermal scanners, the district will also institute ways to disinfect the building. According to Taff Nielsen, vice principal of GBS, “Deep clean Wednesdays are an in depth sterilization of the building” which will be held customarily each week to help eradicate traces of the virus and keep everything remaining clean. In between class periods “teachers will sterilize desks” and Nielson notes, “additional maintenance comes at the end of the school day.” 


As was previously touched upon by Mr. Nielsen, via recommendation of the CDC and IDPH, highly frequented and germ conducive surfaces will be disinfected daily. These include door handles, knobs, light switches, sinks and faucets, buses, and computer keyboards. Other examples and all relative information can be found on the Restore Illinois Phase 4 School Day Plan document on the Glenbard South home website. 


In the instance of in person learning, all individuals within the premises of the school building or bus vehicle are required to wear a mask at all times which conceals both mouth and nose while still maintaining social distancing. 


On a bus vehicle, no more than 50 students should occupy the space at one time. All should similarly employ a face mask during the entirety of the ride.


In the hallways “one way traffic patterns” have been instituted and “decals with arrows encourage social distancing”, Nielsen points out. Limiting the amount of student traffic guarantees more student safety. 


After reviewing the formulated guidelines, provided are a few ways families can remain safe and follow proper hygienic etiquette during this time at home. This is in regards to both students in the midst of virtual learning and all others either staying at home or safely entering outside activities. 


Particulars from a Dupage Health Organization graphic organizer can be found on the COVID-19 Updates section of the school website. These tips discourage close proximity with people who are sick or who even portray an inability to perform basic tasks due to the appearance of covid-related symptoms. They also advise avoiding contact with eyes, nose and mouth.


Try to cover coughs and sneezes whenever possible and immediately after discard used tissue. When sick, remain at home except to receive medical care. Make sure to wash hands and wrists routinely and with care for at least 20 seconds. 


To see a visual representation of proper hand-washing rules and a step-by-step order view the graphic to the right.


Commonly overused coronavirus safety related tips for students and families, however heavily discussed, still remain the most fundamental and useful pandemic reminders. “Having kids in highschool,” relates Nielsen, “they still remain social relationships” despite the troubling times that might hinder the regularity and quality of such encounters.


During such circumstances it is important to “always have a mask in your back pocket, and even when outside practice social distancing” Nielsen finishes.