Debunking Covid Complaints; The Rights and Wrongs of Tampa Prep’s Covid Regulations

Debunking Covid Complaints; The Rights and Wrongs of Tampa Prep’s Covid Regulations

 Tampa Prep has successfully implemented many regulations against COVID-19 in order to keep their students safe and healthy. Using their close connection with Tampa General Hospital and information from the CDC, Tampa Prep has been praised by local health officials on their strategies against the virus. However, a significant amount of the Tampa Prep community are not satisfied with the inconsistencies within the regulations. 

While I have been lucky enough not to have to quarantine this year, many students have expressed anger due to there not being a Zoom-in option. When students get quarantined, it’s a possibility that they may fall behind in schoolwork as they are left at home to learn the material on their own with little to no guidance. Not to mention many teachers say things in class they may have not physically written down in the notes. As more students become acquainted with this rule, the overall consensus echoes that it’s unfair for some students to be put at disadvantage for something they can’t control.

The other main issue of the Covid regulations voiced by the community is wearing masks during sports. I’d say a good amount of Tampa Prep students participate in a sport. As of right now, masks are not required at practice or during games. In many of these sports, players are in close contact without a mask. For example, in volleyball, we huddle multiple times throughout practice and games. In close contact sports such as basketball, players are constantly breathing heavily in close vicinity of each other and touching each other. It does not make sense to wear masks during school, if every day we are sharing germs after school during athletics. 

At first, when I heard about the quarantine and isolation rules, I was confused about why unvaccinated students who test negatively immediately after exposure had to wait a certain amount of days to come back to school, but it’s important to note that all of Tampa Prep’s regulations are based on guidance from the CDC.  According to the CDC, you need to wait until day 5 to test to combat false negatives, and then you can return after day 7 with a negative test. This can be disappointing, but quarantining is necessary according to the CDC guidelines. While keeping in mind CDC advice and that it would be difficult to balance quarantined kids with students at school, I still wish there would be some zoom-in options for the quarantined students so that they can get the most out of their classes.

Even though I do agree with these contradictions surrounding sports, I also see how the administration has to make hard decisions based on situational circumstances. At first glance, the athletic covid rules don’t make sense, when you look deeper into each team, the countering rules for sports and school make a little more sense. Considering that most teams are small and don’t have over twenty people and a lot of the players are vaccinated, it’s going to be easier to control transmission and isolate/quarantine teams rather than regulate an entire student body with different vaccination rates per grade. Additionally, many sports are hard to perform at your best with masks on whereas although it may be a nuisance, masks have less negative effects on learning than sports.

There are some frustrating aspects of the regulations at Tampa Prep, but many of the regulations contribute to the continued safety of the Prep community. I know that masks can be very annoying throughout the day, but I acknowledge the importance of them and why we are wearing them. I encourage students who are annoyed and/or don’t recognize the reasoning of some of the rules, to look at the Tampa Prep website or the CDC website to get a better understanding of the scientific backing behind each guideline.  I do hope by the end of the year some regulations will be loosened, but as the Delta Variant develops, more news on the second semester should be released.