Lexington High School’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Meher Khanna and Vivian Wang

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the Lexington Public Schools system adopted new health guidelines and shifted its focus to reducing the spread of the virus. The Lexington High School nurses oversee the implementation of these new Lexington Public Schools procedures to maintain the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty. 

Susan Kaftan, a LHS school nurse, said her overall role is “to support students’ well-being, academic success, and lifelong achievement by providing direct health care that addresses the student’s physical, emotional and social needs.”

Though LHS nurses remain steadfast in their commitment to students’ physical and mental wellbeing, the means to do so have changed to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“…Most of our time is spent on maintaining a safe school environment by identifying and monitoring students and staff who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for the virus or have been identified as a close contact to an individual who has tested positive,” Kaftan said.

LHS nurses said they adhere to COVID-related guidelines provided by the LHS administration, Lexington Board of Health, MA Department of Public Health, and CDC to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. Kaftan said it’s important “that everyone continues to take this virus seriously and be vigilant about following the safety steps.” 

Some students said safety measures can be better followed within the LHS community. 

“…We could definitely put more effort into physically distancing while in the school. The guidelines are definitely effective, they just need to be followed better sometimes,” Mahi Mirchandani, a freshman, said. 

To support the work of LHS nurses, Kaftan said she advises students to “keep wearing masks, maintain a social 6-foot distance, avoid crowds and indoor spaces, and frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizing.”

Looking ahead, Kaftan said she is optimistic about an end to the pandemic.

“Living during this pandemic has been uncertain and really difficult for everyone but having a vaccine available is really hopeful. There will be an end to this and we will be back together again!” Kaftan said.