Pine Richland Students Fear COVID-19 Outbreak

As schools begin to reopen, many students in the Pine Richland School District are concerned that an outbreak among the students and staff is inevitable. KDKA's Chris Hoffman spoke with one senior who shared their concerns.

Video Transcript

- And as schools grapple with the challenge of welcoming students back for five-days-a-week, students in one district say it's already causing problems. Some at Pine-Richland fear a possible outbreak after some grade levels were given the option for full-time, in-person learning this past week. Chris Hoffman spoke with a student concerned about the end of the year.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: Now some students fear this could lead to a spread of COVID-19 within the school district, which they're afraid could also lead to their extracurricular activities being canceled once again. For fear of any punishment, a Pine-Richland's senior spoke with us about their concerns anonymously.

- With all the people coming back, it really is just impossible to correct procedures and precautions in place.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: This past week the district offered seniors and Eden Hall upper elementary school students the chance to go back to in-person learning all five days. This senior says their class is about 400 students, and the majority went back.

- I know a lot of people whose parents are forcing them to go back.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: In addition, there are underclassman in the building as part of the hybrid system still, and the District says on its website, it is taking necessary precautions, including the making of six-foot teacher zones of physical distancing a priority. The district realizes there will be times where six feet is not possible, and the CDC stated this past week with universal mask wearing, students should try to maintain at least only three feet of distance in a classroom setting.

- The hallways are always very congested. Really, no matter how hard you try, you really can't actually keep the right precautions.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: Online, Pine-Richland says as more students come back, there may need to be an increased need for quarantine.

- I know multiple people personally who have already been sent home for quarantine. It just appears that there's going to be a massive outbreak.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: According to the district's online records, there have been 24 COVID-19 cases this month, 19 are students. That's down from February, where 38 people had the virus and 30 were students. This senior fears the end-of-the-year activities could be in jeopardy.

- My worry is that all the stuff that I am personally excited to be a part of, they're going to be shut down.

CHRIS HOFFMAN: Chris Hoffman, KDKA News.