In the face of Omicron, city schools aim to stay in person; High school to open new modular building
Acknowledging the surge of the Omicron variant, Superintendent Michael Richards said at this year’s first Harrisonburg School Board meeting Tuesday night that the district is “well prepared” to continue in-person learning.
When someone tests positive for COVID-19 in Harrisonburg City Schools, it starts a chain reaction in which the schools, relying on contact tracing, notify the families of students who might have been exposed or in close contact. But that process isn’t always perfect, as one parent found out.
When Rodney Alderfer, president of the Bridgewater Retirement Community, found out he had tested positive for COVID-19 on June 2, he knew that he and the senior leadership team with whom he worked had to quarantine for two weeks to protect each other, as well as the community’s residents — who, because of their age, are among those most at risk.
Hey Elderly Aunt, how do I help my sister who might be quarantining with a verbally abusive girlfriend?
Dear Elderly Aunt, My sister has been living with her girlfriend for nearly a year. I went out with them in public a few times. That was back when we could all go out. They seemed to get along fine. But my sister, let’s call her “Jane,” has been making comments to me since the quarantine began that suggest her girlfriend can be verbally abusive. Maybe it’s just stress of being around each other 24-7. I’ve asked her point blank if she feels threatened and she emphatically said no. But I worry that Jane is in a damaging relationship and might not realize it. What should I do or can I do?
Josh Williams said the uneasiness set in with all the news coverage at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It really hit home when a fellow resident was diagnosed with the disease and Gemeinschaft Home went into quarantine.
Harrisonburg has one resident who is presumed to have COVID-19. Meanwhile, the public schools and universities are closed to students for the next couple weeks — at least. Employees at businesses and now JMU are being told to stay home if they can. The city has declared a state of emergency in order to apply for federal financial help to cover costs associated with managing the pandemic. And businesses already are feeling the pain of fewer customers and are bracing for that to get worse as area college students don’t return to town.
“You mean, you haven’t eaten in nine hours?” The hazmat-suited doctor standing before me stared at me, pills in rubber-gloved hand, confusion apparent through the voice muffled by a face mask. I shook my head, sitting up on the steel-frame quarantine bed. “Well, you need to have these pills with food…” he muttered, half to himself, shifting uncomfortably. We looked at the clock; it was almost midnight. “I’ll see if I can find something for you.”