Changing COVID-19 Protocols at PCS


PCS’s COVID-19 flow chart provides guidance for PCS students who have received a positive test, have symptoms, and/or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Last updated 2/4/2022

Bodhi Malkin (he/him), Staff Reporter

With national and state Covid-19 rules often changing, PCS’s protocols are changing too. Weekly Covid testing has been made available at PCS since the start of this semester.


“The goal is to get the whole school tested once a week. I’d say we’ve been averaging over 440 a week since we started up this semester,” said Mr. Harrison, vice principal at PCS. That is around 75% of the total student population. 


 According to Mr. Harrison, there are often more students testing than usual during Covid surges. Students, staff, and teachers are recommended to be tested, boosted, and vaccinated. There has been an incline of absent teachers, and a shortage of subs, he added, but teachers are doing their best to stay safe and continue coming to school. Mr. Harrison also noted that there has been an increase in student absences, largely due to the rule that you must stay home if you have Covid symptoms, but with flu season now ending, student absences will most likely decline. 


Although most people at PCS are masking on campus, Mr. Harrison noted that the teachers and school faculty often need to remind students to continue masking when outside or just walking around. Mr. Harrison would like people to know that he and other faculty aren’t trying to be bothersome by asking for people to put on their masks, they are just trying to keep everyone safe. 


With the new California school masking mandate changing from “required” to “highly recommended,” PCS may be changing their masking rules at school. But until then, everyone is required to wear masks, Mr. Harrison said, and everyone is highly encouraged to wear KN95 masks, or to double mask when at school.


Another major challenge with the Covid protocols is how often they change, with all the national and statewide rules changing frequently. Mr. Harrison said that it is hard for PCS to keep up with the changes in rules and regulations. As of now, PCS has no plans to return to distance learning or any kind of hybrid plan to educate students, he stated. 


Mr. Harrison mentioned that with Covid rates declining, PCS hopes to return to more normal, Covid-safe routines soon, and he knows that everyone has been doing their best in this hard time of living in a global pandemic: “I’m in awe of what PCS is doing daily to keep the rigor going, being here for the students, and making school as normal as we are able to given the circumstances. Kids are heroes as well by showing up every day ready to learn and engage with one another again.”