LOHS sees sudden rise in COVID cases

Sophia Wang, Editor-In-Chief

The LOSD COVID Dashboard shows 10 active cases at LOHS as of Nov. 26, while two individuals are currently under quarantine. The decreased vaccine efficacy rates with time have led to rates of breakthrough cases hovering around 25 to 30 percent in Oregon over the past six weeks. The current situation at LOHS shows the combined effects of relaxed quarantine requirements in schools and the ongoing loss of vaccine efficacy in preventing infection.

CDC guidelines state that “Fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.” However, under LOSD quarantine protocols, school officials only notify close contacts who need to quarantine. There is no direct communication of exposure to those considered exempt, including vaccinated students with close contact to a COVID case.

 Statewide Isolation and Quarantine Guidance by the Oregon Health Authority on Jun. 30 declared vaccinated individuals exposed to a positive case exempt from quarantine. In the months since then, the protection against infection guaranteed by the vaccines has significantly decreased. Data have shown that the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine in preventing COVID infections has dropped to 47 percent five months after the second dose, from 88 percent immediately following full vaccination. The majority of LOHS students are still under 18 so do not meet the age eligibility requirements for the booster doses of any vaccine.