Explaining the Delta Variant and Page’s COVID-19 Precautions


Sophia Robertson, Editor-in-Chief

The pandemic has been around since the beginning of 2020, and in some ways it feels like we aren’t moving forward. As a result of decreasing cases and the distribution of the vaccine, there was much more freedom over the summer. This led to less safety precautions being enforced, particularly those regarding social distancing and masks, but with the Delta variant, things quickly backtracked. Cases spiked, younger people began to get extremely sick in a way that had only been seen in elderly people, and some people started to lose faith in the vaccine and country. Before we dive into the ways that Page is coping with this variant and the virus in general, let’s take time to discuss what exactly the variant is.

The Delta variant has caused panic across the globe, but what is it and how did it start? The Delta variant is a highly contagious version of COVID-19 that was formed by a mutation. While Delta is not the only new COVID-19 variant, it is currently the most prominent one, as it accounts for up to 80% of new COVID-19 cases according to recent surveys completed by the CDC. Symptoms are the same for the original version of COVID-19; however, younger people are becoming more sick over a very short period of time.

Last year, Page faculty strictly enforced one-way hallways. Unless I was in the mood to go for a short run, I was late to one of my classes nearly everyday. Not only was it embarrassing when everyone looked at me as I walked into the classroom late, but it was also an inconvenience. Of course, health is much more important than convenience, but did one-way hallways really prevent the spread of COVID-19? There’s no definite answer, but Page must have decided that one-way hallways did not do enough since the infamous hallway policy did not return for the 2021-2022 school year. In deciding to get rid of this component of the plan to slow the spread of COVID-19 Page likely looked to the CDC’s “Fifteen Minute Rule.” This rule states that in order to be considered in “close contact” with someone with the virus, you must be near them for at least fifteen minutes. With only five minutes for class change, the likelihood of getting the virus is much less, but it’s still possible. In addition to changing the hallway policy, the option to remain online has been removed. There are no Microsoft Teams classes available for students who do not want to come back to in-person school.

One continuity from last year to this year is the mask policy, but Guilford County Schools announced that it will reevaluate its mask policy every 10 weeks based on state guidance. Three feet of social distance is required with masks on above the nose, and hand sanitizer is provided at every desk. For lunch, six feet of social distance is a requirement since masks are removed during this time. These COVID-19 precautions are very similar to last year’s policies, but with an ever-changing world, these requirements are likely to change over the next few weeks and months.


Photo Credits: WeillCornell.org