Beginning February 16th, Glenbard South students who are currently in the hybrid model will have the option to return to school four days a week. Wednesdays will remain a fully remote day for all students unless stated differently in the second semester calendar. Students will still have the option to remain in hybrid A or B, where they return to school only two times a week.
There are divided opinions over the switch, as some students, parents and staff believe that it is an unsafe decision. Others believe that we should start moving closer towards returning to school fully and this will be a step in that direction.
Arguments against going into the Hybrid C model have included the fact that as of February 14th, only 3.64% of DuPage county residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This is important to consider because many people believe that now that we have vaccines approved by the CDC, we can all start disregarding safety precautions. This is not the case as the percentage of the population vaccinated is nowhere near the number needed for herd immunity. Even with a large number of the population vaccinated, masks and other forms of protecting ourselves from the virus will be around for a while. Also, the community transmission level is still considered substantial in DuPage county according to the DuPage County Health Department. Another large concern is that ICU availability has continued to decrease since October of last year. The number of new cases per 100,000 is at 133 cases, which is nearly three times the goal set by the IDPH, of less than 50 per 100,000.
Some argue that with the implementation of the saliva screening at Glenbard South, administration will be able to quarantine individuals and stop community spread completely at school. Of course, no test has zero risk of false negatives and it is a non-diagnostic test. This means that we can still see transmission of the virus at school. Test positivity is also looking better at 4.4% as of February 6th, which is under the county’s current goal of 5%. The worry is that by returning to school, we may see this percentage increase once again and see another rise in cases.
Glenbard District 87 has been releasing the results of the district-wide saliva testing on their website. The numbers are rather subjective as one may consider them to be large and others may interpret them as being small. The most recent statistics were released for the week of 2/1-2/5. There were 24 new quarantined students and 14 students testing positive for COVID-19. The percent of individuals referred for a diagnostic test has been decreasing each week since the implementation of the saliva tests.
What do you think, is our area in the right place to be introducing the Hybrid C model to Glenbard South?