Paint Branch and Blake Battle COVID Outbreaks

Officials at Paint Branch High School have announced pauses on multiple school and sports programs due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the boys’ basketball, wrestling, and preschool programs are on hold due to 21 positive cases from Paint Branch students and staff.

“[I]t all started with our sports teams, and as a part of our sports program, it might have been caused by seeing a person during a scrimmage away,” Paint Branch sophomore Heather Trinh comments.

There are other reasons why this outbreak may have happened, though.

“Kids think it’s cool to not wear their masks – [so] it just spreads throughout [the school],” sophomore Kymani Bone complains.

Decreases in the effectiveness of vaccines may also be contributing to the spread of COVID, though booster shots became available for 16- and 17-year-olds on Friday. 

This outbreak is not likely to be isolated to Paint Branch, unfortunately. As of yesterday, according to Principal Bob Sinclair’s weekly update, there were 21 staff or students isolated with COVID, 19 people quarantined for exposure, and around 28 possible exposures.

“As we know,” Mr. Sinclair adds, “the students and families in the NEC are very close and live in the same communities … and they live in the same neighborhoods. Sometimes we even have members of the same family in each of the schools.”

So, what action is Blake taking against a possible outbreak?

Mr. Sinclair states, “I am in regular contact with the other NEC principals, [and] we meet on a daily basis. One of the topics we discuss is COVID.”

Students who watched the morning announcements on Friday may have noticed the short COVID PSA. This is probably part of an ongoing effort to “continue to remind people of the steps they can take to help mitigate the spread,” according to Mr. Sinclair.

In order to prevent a Blake COVID outbreak, we must take as much caution as possible – maybe even more than that. Remember to stay safe and follow protocol, especially as the holiday season begins.

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