Pros and Cons of Contact Tracing

Having schools open during a global pandemic is risky, but certain things have been put into place to try and keep students in school. Social distancing, masks and contact tracing all play a big role in keeping us in school. They all protect us from Covid-19 and help stop the spread of the virus if someone does have it. 

School nurse, Beth Broderick, thinks it is necessary to stop spreading the virus. “If we don’t do it, it could spread the virus a lot faster,” she said. 

Contact tracing is all about keeping the virus away from people. For example if a group of people was less than 6 feet away from each other for 15 minutes or more, they would get contact-traced whether they were wearing their masks or not. Such closeness puts people at a greater risk of getting the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Sully Newlin, ‘24, has been one of those contact-traced, but the process needs refinement according to him.

“It seems very unorganized,” said Newlin. “From what I heard, the school called parents for the first few weeks to inform people if they were traced. Now they have started using the VNA (Visiting Nurses Association) to contact families.” 

Unfortunately, Newlin didn’t get the call to inform him that he was being quarantined, so he came to school the next day and was told to leave even though he hadn’t gotten a notification to stay home. The contact tracing system is easy to use, but from Newlin’s perspective and some of his friends’ perspectives it should be worked on.

“Some cons of contact tracing are that it is not very organized, the VNA doesn’t do a good job at contacting people, the information showing the person is being traced is in Powerschool, and the online work doesn’t work out sometimes,” said Newlin.

Despite its drawbacks, Newlin admits that contact-tracing is needed. “Some pros are that it helps stop spreading the virus, and it lets people know they have been around somebody that has contracted the virus,” he continued. 

He concludes, “If the system was a little more organized, it would be a great way to help stop the virus from spreading.”