Omicron variant affects schools


Kya Small-Brush

A sign in Palm Beach Gardens directs people to a drive-thru testing site. “Everyone plays a part in trying to stay safe and I hope we won’t have to deal with COVID-19 next school year,” Timothy Regula, assistant principal, said.

The COVID-19 Omicron variant changed the way society worked in many ways.
“I’m more conscious of my own area now. Wiping it down and washing my hands,” Misty Connelly, assistant principal, said.
There had been many ways people could protect themselves by taking the precautions the Centers of Disease Control presented.
“The most important thing people should do is get vaccinated and wear their masks. Vaccines offer excellent protection,” Matthew Davenport, nurse practitioner at Pediatric Partners, said.
According to, vaccines remained the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduced the likelihood of new variants emerging.
Schools had taken another step to help protect students and staff.
“Teachers have been using wipes and hand sanitizers and encouraging sanitizations. Briefly, teachers are having to wear masks at the moment. Just doing whatever they can to create some normalcy, but in a safe way,” Timothy Regula, assistant principal, said.
When compared to other variants Omicron had some differences.
“It is a lot more transmissible and I would say we see a lot of upper respiratory tract infections,” Davenport said.
Doctors started observing other symptoms as well.
According to an interview from, “We’re seeing a lot of sore throat, runny nose, fatigue and mild headache,” Dr. Rahul Sharma, the emergency physician-in-chief at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center said. Unlike in previous variants, the loss of taste and smell seems to be uncommon.
Omicron had altered the ways some people think and feel.
“The biggest change I would like to see is less anxiety and worrying for our staff, teachers and students,” Connelly said.
Bak had transformed how things were run too.
“Last year was a big difference from normalcy. When we got to do events last year, we could not do them to their full extent. It’s much different to be in person. The experience is coming back. We are not 100 percent, but we are almost there,” Regula said.
Contrasted to the following years, doctors’ offices have had to deal with more patients and different safety precautions.
“We wear masks. We are a lot busier and there are a lot of sick kids. It has added a lot more concern to our plate here,” Davenport said.
Omicron had impacted many people and because of this, many had to adjust.
“I hope that everyone continues to remember to be kind to each other,” Connelly said. “Maybe with that understanding or thought that whatever comes our way we will handle it gracefully.”