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Universal Masking Now in Place at Homer High

Photo from KBBI Database
Homer High School

Spike in cases came after holiday break.

The current surge in the coronavirus has made its way into Homer High School and everyone in the building will be masking up for two weeks due to the outbreak, according to Principal Doug Waclawski.

“We think it's the Omicron surge. We've had zero to one cases for the last like three months. I mean, our numbers have been super low. So since we've gotten back from break, especially the beginning of last, end of last week and this week. So in the last three days, we've had 15 cases. So everybody's going to have to start wearing masks. So we're gonna have to wear masks for the next two weeks, as a minimum,” Waclawski said.

Waclawski said other mitigation measures were already in place, and that testing close contacts is ramping up.

“Right now everybody is a close contact, and we have a lot of them. We're testing them two times during their 10-day period where they have to wear masks. But everybody's gonna have to start wearing masks, but we'll still be testing those, any close contact who's in the building,” Waclawski said.

Athletics and activities could take a hit. Waclawski said Tuesday night’s girls varsity basketball game was cancelled due to the outbreak.

“Then we have a tournament in Bethel, and that might need to be canceled just because, if somebody gets covid up there, they're stuck there for 10 days. You know, either the parents or one of our staff members need to stay with them,” Waclawski said.

As Waclawski pointed out, cases have been relatively low until this outbreak, and said staff are responding well.

“So far this year has been pretty good. But obviously as things ramp up here, you know, it is, it is draining. But I mean we're trying to do the best we can for the safety of the kids and to keep our doors open. I mean, that's our, that's our main goal. Keep kids safe, keep our doors open and hopefully we can keep going,” Waclawski said.

Before a new mask mandate at the school went into effect this morning, wearing a mask had been optional for students and staff, but required for all visitors to the school, and while on school buses.

Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.