COVID-19: Three Years In

City High nurses and students their experiences with COVID-19 during the rising and falling numbers of the Omicron variant

Diego Loria-Eivins, Reporter

Two years ago students dropped into the health office to grab a band aid or some ibuprofen, and now with the ICCSD mask mandate the health office has become a constant flow of people coming in and out grabbing masks or following up with the school nurses about COVID-19 symptoms. In November of 2020, the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) went online at a 17% COVID-19 positivity rate in Johnson County. In January of 2022, Johnson County is at 25% COVID-19 positivity rate and classes fully in-person are still offered. Students at City High have noticed friends and teachers absent from the building throughout the school year. 

“A usual day before the pandemic was looking through lots of records and documentations, making sure everyones immunized against all other things besides COVID-19,” said Suzie Wilkes, who has been working as a school nurse at City High for the past 2 years.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 the health department uses contact tracing to see who was sitting close or interacting with the student that tested positive. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the health department at City High has been busy working on tracing positive COVID cases and sending emails out to students and families giving them the option to quarantine.

“I’m anxious about COVID-19 at City High,” Avery Provorse ‘24 said.

Provorse attended school online during the 2020-2021 school year and returned back to in-person classes this fall.

“At first, [online school] was harder, but then it became much easier. I really liked online school but I felt it was safe to return back to in person classes,” Provorse said.

Provorse is feeling better about how City High is handling COVID-19. The mask mandate is helpful for students that are anxious about COVID-19 and returning to classes in-person. 

“I’m a little frustrated that some programs at City High are less strict about the mask policy, in general I think our school is doing really good with keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum,” Provorse said.