The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Local communities report rise in COVID

As national COVID cases increase, the school has faced an increasing number of absences from students and faculty. According to Student Discipline and Attendance Coordinator Gabriel Preciado, four to five absences a day have been due to COVID.

Head of Upper School Beth Slattery said that she was expecting a rise in the number of new cases and that she was aware of
similar occurrences in other schools around the country.

“There probably is going to be a little bit of a spike,” Slattery said. “I know that there’s a number of universities, like Columbia, where [COVID] is rampant and a ton of people have it. But [here], I think people really freak out about missing school and having to make up work. We want to remind people it’s fine [and] we’re going to work with them.”

The CDC (Center for Disease Control), reported a 10.5% increase in COVID deaths and an 8.7% increase in hospitalizations in a single week in September.

Community Health Officer Milo Sini said that people must continue to stay aware of the threat of infection and stay home if they are sick.

“Our community has done a great job in making sure if one is infectious, to stay home,” Sini said. “If everyone is mindful of others and make sure not to come on campus infectious, we will do a good job in minimizing the number of people who get it.”

Chemistry Teacher and Upper School Registrar Heather Audesirk said she was concerned about the rise in COVID cases and how it would affect vulnerable communities.

“As someone with an autoimmune condition, I am very concerned that if I contract COVID it could worsen my condition, potentially permanently, or at least for a long time even after the infection subsides,” Audesirk said. “Everyone I know with my condition who has contracted COVID has experienced long-term deterioration of their health, so that is something that I am trying my best to avoid. I am slightly concerned that the spike in cases will increase the number of infected people within our community, which will in turn increase the possibility that I will contract the disease, despite the precautions I take.”

Edward Ward ’25 said that he was planning to stay up-to-date on his booster shots.

“I think COVID isn’t the issue it was a year ago,” Ward said. “But even though it might not be as dire, I’m planning on getting a new booster shot.”

The CDC recently approved updated Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and recommended adults and children to receive them before the winter season starts.

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