There has been a recent surge of COVID-19 cases around the Wellesley school district coinciding with the rise of the Omicron variant. The high school administration is stressing the importance of following safety measures, to ensure that we are putting ourselves and others in a safe position.

This is particularly important as we head into the winter and holiday season. Shari Johnson, one of the high school nurses, highlights specific precautions that could be taken when celebrating with family and friends.

“The first thing is [that] everybody should be vaccinated, and if they’re eligible, get the booster. I think testing before family gatherings [as well]. I know at Thanksgiving that my whole family tested before we got together so we knew that no one brought it[COVID] to the dinner. Even just a rapid test is a good check. Anytime anybody has any symptoms, they should not attend the gathering and should get tested,” said Johnson.

On top of strict mask enforcement, the high school has opened up a part of the gym to be used by students who want to spread out during lunch.

“We are trying to keep the whole community safe. We have to think outside our individuality and think about the broader community,” said Johnson.

The high school vaccination rate for faculty is around 88 percent and around 86 percent for students. The school is encouraging everybody to get vaccinated as a COVID mitigation strategy, especially as cases continue to rise across the district. Johnson notes how the high school is positioned well in regards to its vaccination rates, but also warns about the rise of the Omicron variant.

“We’re at a pretty good place, however, the new Omicron variant is spreading and I do know people with boosters who still have tested positive. It’s not that we’re not going to get it, it will probably be more like the flu, where it’s out there every year, we just need to be protected enough that we survive it,” said Johnson.

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