(Courtesy of the FTIS Healthy at School website)

A screenshot of FTIS Healthy at School website.

     As students enter the second semester of the second COVID-19 year, many things at Highlands High School have changed, as well as COVID-19 protocols.

     Masks are now optional for students, and students will be supported in their decision regarding mask usage. If a vaccinated student is exposed to COVID-19 and they are asymptomatic, they will not have to quarantine, although students are primarily focused on the changing masking protocols. 

     Fort Thomas Independent School administrators made the HHS masking decision due to a drop in cases, however, some students and parents are worried that the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron variant shouldn’t prompt a weakening of our COVID-19 spread protocols.

     Here in Campbell County, cases dipped to just 20 in the seven-day average and almost zero new cases by October 31. However, on December 31, the seven-day average had ballooned to 79.

     As of December 18, the Omicron variant had been detected in Campbell County, with the bulk of the rising COVID-19 numbers happening after the detection of this new variant.

     Even despite the numbers, many students here at HHS are happy about going mask optional. 

     Sophomore Carter Frimming believes that this is “the only fair way to do it.” 

     “I like it personally. I think it’s cool to have a choice,” said Senior Issac Surrey.

    According to the FTIS Healthy at School website, no students will be forced to wear a mask unless they were exposed to the virus.

     If any students need a COVID-19 test, the school will still be providing them. To arrange a test, you will need to get into contact with the HHS school nurse.