As omicron wanes, COVID mandates shouldn’t

Bear Witness editors, Editor

While the omicron variant has shown to be less severe than past variants, we cannot loosen our

COVID cases, some school COVID policies show that evidently our mandates are loosening.

is clearly affecting our students. As the idea of contact tracing is officially phased out amid the omicron surge, there must be strict protocols to help students’ physical well-being.

students and immunocompromised relatives.

COVID protocols amid the surge. Not just in our school, but through-

Superintendent Dr. Robert Bravo announced during the Jan. 20 board meeting his recommendation for students to take the optional weekly COVID tests as a substitute for contact tracing, which was helpful in narrowing down COVID exposure at school.

The World Health Organization and other health officials warn that it is dangerous to assume that the current variant will bring an end to the pandemic.

out the world, the omicron variant has disrupted the lives of millions of workers, families, and communities. Across California, 7,688,422 cases were confirmed as of Jan. 23.

We hope parents support the proposed legislation turning the state mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students into law.

We know that the COVID pan- demic has been a long haul. It’s unfortunate that even after almost two years, COVID isn’t projected to end any time soon. BA.2, a new omicron variant, is on the horizon, but it’s too early to tell how infectious or deadly the variant may be towards students.

At Branham alone, 324 absences were recorded within the first five days of the start of the second semester.

With the high number of COVID cases, contact tracing has been more and more difficult for administration and the administration could not keep up.

The need for COVID mandates is especially important for students who are immunocompromised, students with immunocompromised families and students who may not be able to access vaccines or boosters by family pushback.

It’s clear that while the vaccine has lessened the impact of past variants, and that the surge from omicron is waning, the number of COVID cases remains high.

While there is high testing accessibility at our school, the lack of mandates to test, vaccinate, or any protocols to keep our students safe

Just because the omicron variant may have been mild, and the surge has slowed down, it still poses a lethal threat to immunocompromised

Staying vigilant will help not only our students, but our teacher, our administrations, our friends, our communities.