Coronavirus reaches SHS


Streetsboro one way hallways trying to prevent the spread of COVID

Milena Sobie and Madelyn Hajec

Tutor and Varsity volleyball coach, Julie Genovese, was SHS’ first major COVID case. Her October diagnosis, which led to the quarantine of 22 volleyball players and two high school teachers, was the start of the virus’ impact on SHS.

Tutor and Varsity volleyball coach Julie Genovese (Photo by Lifetouch National School Studios Inc.)

She was sick for a total of 12 days but had to quarantine for 14. 

I was the first person in high school to test positive and that brings fear and uncertainty,” Genovese said.

COVID hit her hard.

“It started with allergy or cold-like symptoms — nasal congestion, earache, headache, sore throat, runny nose, migraine headache — that lasted for four days, which forced me to go to the emergency room to get an IV of medication,” she said.

Genovese also lost 11 pounds.

After she recovered and returned to school, other students and staff began testing positive or ended up in quarantine due to exposure.

School spread was not the major issue, said administrators throughout the school and state. The social distancing, mask wearing and cleaning protocols were helping; it was outside spread from social gatherings and family activity that were to blame for the uptick in cases.

Biology teacher Tracey Schneeman was sent home to quarantine after her teenage daughter was exposed to a  soccer teammate who tested positive.

While quarantining with her daughter in the house, Schneeman caught the Coronavirus, as did other members of her family. 

Biology teacher Tracey Schneeman (Photo by Lifetouch National School Studios Inc.)

Everyone who lives with Schneeman got COVID, except for her youngest son. 

Schneeman said her worst symptom — dizziness — affected her online teaching.

“I get dizzy whenever I look at a screen for too long, which is very unfortunate since I teach through a screen,” she said in the midst of the illness..

Of those interviewed who came down with COVID, Genovese was hit the hardest. Others reported having more cold and flu-like symptoms like headaches and nasal congestion/sniffles for about a week.

Quarantined teachers were replaced by substitutes in the physical classroom. Some teachers, like Schneeman, still wanted social interaction with their classes, so they had students join google meets onh they could better explain lessons.  

As more and more teachers got quarantined around the district, it became difficult to find substitutes. This made the district question whether or not to close down the school. 

As teachers caught COVID, students began testing positive as well. But when students got it, others who sat around them in class and/or had spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of them, had to quarantine for two weeks. 

Freshman Isabella Cooley (Photo by Lifetouch National School Studios Inc.)

Even if the quarantined students received negative test results, the district and health department would not allow the students to return until the two weeks were up. 

This impacted class attendance. 

Freshman Izzy Cooley was one of the students who came down with the virus. Exposed to a family member, she found out while in the middle of Spanish class that this person had tested positive for COVID-19. “I was trying to keep it on the downlow but then everybody found out,” Cooley said.

Although some teachers were not big fans of juggling lessons and interactions with those quarantined and those present in the classroom, Cooley preferred learning this way.

I don’t like in person school,” she said. “It always stresses me out and gives me anxiety. But with online, I felt very relaxed and I liked that I didn’t have to wake up at certain times.”

Cooley is also a JV cheerleader, but due to her being diagnosed with COVID, she had to miss out on some big cheer events. These included a banquet at the end of the football season and numerous competition practices.

“I wish I was able to be at the cheer banquet with my friends,” Cooley said.

Junior Corey Teuton caught COVID as well. Teuton found out he had COVID after going home from school because he was not feeling well.

Junior Corey Teuton (Photo by Lifetouch National School Studios Inc.)

He was tested “just in case” but then found out he was positive.

Teuton said he was only sick for about four days. He had a fever, severe headache and fatigue.

“I expected it to be worse, but for me, it was still not a fun experience,” he said.

Once more students were quarantined, it became obvious who had caught it. Some people were kind and wished him well, Teuton said, while others expressed their frustration.

I am sorry for the position that I put them in and would tell them,” Teuton said, “I guess some were still frustrated. I never meant for this to happen.” 

Teuton said before he caught the virus, he was very cautious of where he went and who he was with.

“I take all of the necessary precautions and, apparently, that was still not enough.” 

As a member of both the band and the radio station, Teuton had to miss out on some important events due to COVID, just like Cooley had to.

“I was unable to attend two playoff games for the band,” he recalled. “I had to miss my morning radio shift for 88.9, had to do online schooling, and was unable to see my friends.”

Since another positive student case right before Thanksgiving took out nearly 40 students and teachers at the high school alone, , the school shut down for virtual learning at least until January 11. 

While so far, SHS’ staff and students have survived COVID, the virus has killed and infected many people around the world.

 “I have not taken COVID for granted at all since March,” Schneeman said.