District braces for potential COVID, flu surge


Courtesy photo

A UHSSE student doing work while wearing a mask.

Over the past few years, life has changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many are now acting like the pandemic is over. Masks are now optional and social distancing appears to be a thing of the past. However, diseases like the common cold and the flu are now back and they are hitting hard because people have been wearing masks for the past two years.

Now, top medical experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky are predicting that the 2022-2023 flu season will be the worst flu season that the United States has had in a long time.

There could also be a surge of COVID-19 this winter that could cause a big disruption to normal life in school and life in general.

“The Hartford Public Schools District Health and Safety team is continuing to attend weekly meetings with the Department of Public Health and is monitoring for evidence of an increase in Covid cases in the schools and the community. While there is no specific number that would cause a change in policy, it would really depend on the level of transmission. We do have the ability to reinstate the mask mandate but that would depend on the recommendation of medical experts both at the state and federal level,” Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said, in a recent interview.

“It definitely makes me a little nervous but I think that by taking the proper precautions such as washing our hands, getting the flu shot and the Covid vaccine, and wearing masks we can prepare ourselves. It is bound to go around a little bit even with these precautions, but the amount of transmission would likely be lower,” Mr. Dunn said.

If you test positive for Covid, you are required to inform your school and must wear a mask for ten days after you test positive. School nurses also have the ability to test students for Covid with parental consent.

Although masks continue to be optional, they are available to students and staff members along with rapid COVID-19 test kits, which continue to be distributed intermittently.

Weekly vaccination clinics are also continuing to be set up throughout Hartford Public Schools for students, staff members, and families. Anyone who is not up to date on their shots is highly encouraged to get inoculated as it is the best way to protect yourself and the people around you from Covid.

We all have to do our part in stopping the spread of contagious diseases. Please, if you are sick, take a Covid test at home. If you do not have one at home, please come in and ask the nurse to do it. If you do not feel good, please cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and wear a mask. Just a reminder, to be effective, the mask must be worn covering both the mouth and nose.

Let’s all try and help each other to stay healthy!