By Owen Wong ’23
Many students on campus know that every Friday, Mr. Bob Ryan updates Brophy’s COVID-19 Dashboard, which tracks positive cases of COVID-19 among students. Students who might show symptoms or have possibly had close contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19 will either be sent on a 14-day or 10-day quarantine.
Will Hays ’21, a Brophy senior that has had to go back into self-quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19, spoke about his experience with going through the process of the protocols and how he was back at home.
“Two Mondays ago, I sat next to someone who tested positive for Covid-19, but I didn’t find out until Thursday. I eventually got the phone call from the Dean’s office on Friday,” he said.
Hays said that having to stay home once again was a bit upsetting, since he was scheduled to take his ACT, However he was quarantined over fall break, so he didn’t miss lots of school time.
“I think that Brophy has done a relatively good job at keeping us safe, especially with all the policies they have on campus, and in terms of sending us home, it was pretty unfortunate that I ended up sitting next to the guy that got COVID-19.”
Mrs. Renee Oldani is the absence coordinator for absences dealing with COVID-like symptoms and illnesses. When a student has a possible COVID symptom, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Austin Pidgeon approve when someone is able to come back to school after time in self-quarantine. Mrs. Oldani also works with Mrs. Yvette Mulligan for COVID-19 cases. When a parent calls in and a student is recognized as having a possible threat of COVID, that email or voice message is sent to her, and then she takes it from there.
“When somebody calls in and says ‘my son is positive,’ we then have to go and ask ‘when was your son last on campus.’ If they were on campus we then get the seating charts from the teachers and then we find out who they were sitting near,” Mrs. Oldani said on what measures Brophy takes when narrowing down students who might have been exposed to COVID-19.
Some main processes include that over a ten day period, you have to be fever free for 24 hours without medication and symptoms have to subside. At the end of the 10 days, parents are contacted and asked about the current condition of the student, and if symptoms have subsided and that student is doing better, Mrs. Oldani will let Mr. Ryan and Mr. Pidgeon know, and from there, they can give the approval if that particular student can come back to campus or not. Other processes might include finding out who else that specific positive student might have been with during lunch, what clubs they might be in, and what sports they might be in.
“I am in constant communication with both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Pidgeon about who has tested positive, who might have to go into a 10-day isolation if they are sick,” said Mrs. Oldani. “because if you are sick, and have a COVID-like symptom you still have to stay home.”
As someone who manages attendance at Brophy, Mrs. Mulligan has had some involvement with working with the COVID-19 case reporting system with Mrs. Oldani, and she discussed how things have changed slightly from previously working with attendance at Brophy versus how the new system works with Brophy’s COVID-19 protocols in place.
“Information usually filters through the attendance portion of it, because I usually get the calls and emails from the parents first, then I forward those to Mrs. Oldani,” Mrs. Mulligan said.
Mrs. Mulligan described that the procedure for reporting a positive COVID-19 test is very similar to what the procedure was for reporting any other illness before the era of COVID. Before, phone calls, emails, and messages from the parents were the main source of reporting excused absences or illnesses throughout the student body. The same applies for reporting positive COVID tests; most of it is self-reporting from parents and students.
“The community has done very well in communicating with our office in regards to the symptom checks and protocols that have taken place, and I want to say thank you to the parents and the students for being great partners with our office,” Mrs. Mulligan said as a final statement towards the Brophy Community.