Illness numbers decrease, fear among students remains


Everyone hates being sick – the annoyance of days of missed classes, headaches and feeling tired all the time. The last few years, the fear of being sick has risen due to the COVID pandemic. Walking into a classroom, there is often talk about getting the flu, or having a headache. Are students at Newton High School feeling worse these winter months? Sickness may not be rising like students think it is.

“Our absences due to illness numbers has improved since being back from Christmas break,” said NHS Nurse Sarah Miller. “We track illness daily here at the high school. The spike in this percentage happened around mid-November when nearly six percent of students were out sick, as opposed to the range of three to six percent. Now, it is around one to two percent, which is an all-time low this year. While we are at a low, it is still important to recognize the signs.”

Miller said it is important to stay home when sick. When having a temperature, or a cough, coming to school can put others at risk. It is necessary to take the proper measures to stop the spreading of germs.

To avoid the spread of germs, it’s important to participate in basic hygiene. Small things like washing your hands often, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and not sharing food are often overlooked; however, it is very important to include all of these things in your daily routine. It can be tempting to share food with friends during lunch, but it is highly discouraged.

“Illness is quick to spread when proper measures aren’t taken to prevent them,” Miller said. She said it is important to take precautions in order to keep our school safe. Staying safe and staying healthy is crucial for a good learning environment.