The upper school COVID-19 policy currently requires unvaccinated students and those in the instrumental music or indoor athletic programs to undergo weekly testing after a sophomore and a freshman tested positive in October. 6 students across all Harker grades have tested positive since August.
Orchestra, jazz band and lab band members started regular testing after their classes moved indoors. They initially rehearsed outside the Rothschild Performing Arts Center (RPAC) to prevent the risk of transmission.
“I think it’s a good idea [to test these students frequently],” said orchestra member Alex Zhong (9), who has gotten tested every Tuesday since Oct. 19. “With these protocols, hopefully [the community] won’t have to go back to [online learning].”
The nurse’s office has administered 4,351 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests to high school students since August, according to upper school nurse Jennifer Olson. Sophomores underwent mass testing on Oct. 15 after a 10th grader tested positive for COVID-19. Students identified as close contact cases for a ninth grader who tested positive on the week of Oct. 25 also received tests.
In compliance with Santa Clara County county and California state guidance, students who test positive or experience symptoms of COVID-19, even without exposure to an infected individual, must quarantine for 10 days. Vaccinated students without symptoms or who did not come into contact with the virus can also contact the nurse’s office to get tested, according to Olson.
As the flu season approaches, Olson advises students to “get vaccinated, wear your mask indoors, wash your hands, and stay home and rest if you are sick.”