COVID-19 Cases rising at Joliet West

Keya Patel, Staff Writer

It has been 5 months since Joliet West opened its doors for the 2021-2022 school year and as of December 8, there are 136 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases at West campus alone.  

According to the Contact Tracing & COVID-19 Dashboard on the district homepage, “there is a team of staff members at all JTHS buildings that serve as the COVID-19 Contact Tracers. When a case is confirmed, these individuals work with the Will County Health Department to ensure that students and staff who came into close contact with the positive person are notified.”

In order for the school to return back to in person learning, students have been expected to follow the guidelines established by the government and the school, such as social distancing, but that is not always possible due to the crowding in the hallways and not being able to space out desks. There is a high risk of COVID-19 when people come in close contact with each other, which could be dangerous to students who have not gotten the vaccine. 

We have a high percentage of students who are not vaccinated.” said Ms. O’Malley, a teacher at Joliet West. “It is so important that we care for each other and remember not everyone is vaccinated.”

The school has implemented rules such as wearing masks above your nose and mouth, keeping a distance of at least 3 feet and washing your hands. Social distancing has been a lot harder due to so many students overflowing the halls. Freshman Angelique Danielle Bernabe says “It’s not social distancing, student’s aren’t even 1 feet apart or wearing their masks properly which is resulting in multiple cases of COVID-19 at school.“

In response to the overcrowding, the principal of Joliet West, Dr. Gibson states, “There are 3,400 students and because of that there is more risk, some schools have split schedules but we are still not there yet.”

Joliet has one of the highest reported cases in Will County for the ages 5-18. According to the Will County Health website almost 71 cases were reported in one day. If you do get in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms then you should immediately quarantine yourself and get a COVID-19 test.  

According to the CDC, “Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.” Joliet West expects students to follow the guidelines such as wearing masks, washing their hands and keeping a distance of at least 3 feet so they can keep themselves and others safe.