Photo by DR Barnes/The Washington Informer

A testing shortage in D.C. has created a stir to grab one whenever the opportunity was available. Over the holidays, the city gave free take-home testing kits throughout D.C. 

“I know personally more people who have Covid in the last two or three weeks since literally the beginning of the pandemic,” said Stefan Lockridge, a music production teacher at a high school in Ward 8. 

Lockridge has seen the impacts of the Covid-19 virus on students and faculty. He claims that right before winter break, more students were starting to test positive for Covid-19. He also says that students are not taking the virus as seriously as they should, claiming that enforcing students to even keep their masks on has become a difficult task for teachers and other faculty. 

“They don’t really take it as seriously as I believe they should or that most of us adults do. We have our struggles with students keeping masks on. They’re really not concerned about it. I know students that have come back from having Covid or haven’t been around from being quarantined and [they are] not wearing their mask,” said Lockridge.

Over the holiday season, cases have risen exponentially in the city and the question of going back to school is still in question for many residents. Lockridge says he would like to see schools revert back to virtual learning until cases decrease in DC. 

“I’m more leaning towards going back virtual for maybe a few weeks or so until we can get things back to under control. I believe things should still be virtual for students coming back and maybe some tougher policies in regards to wearing masks,” said Lockridge. 

Vaccination in Ward 8 is lower than any other Ward in DC and cases are higher as well. As of Jan. 3, 105,493 people total have tested positive in DC and 17,085 people total have tested positive in Ward 8. 

As a teacher and parent who is vaccinated, Lockridge claims he is still “on the fence about child vaccinations.” 

“I believe the biggest thing is just trust. Trust in what the vaccination actually does and trust in the folks that are telling us to be vaccinated. I think that might be the biggest thing in my community,” said Lockridge.

Children in the city are experiencing more hospitalization and cases among children are becoming more of a concern with the severity of it steadily increasing. Young people have become the hardest demographic to vaccinate in DC and Ward 8 is still seeing lower vaccination with young people. 

“I believe the high school is doing the best they can in regards to enforcing that rule. It’s really hard to physically make somebody put their mask on. We do have guidelines [and] infractions for students if they don’t have it on but it’s just so widespread that it’s a bigger issue,” said Lockridge.

By working in a high school and having children attend school and daycare, Lockridge says he is concerned about three school environments for his family. 

“I definitely believe that the resources are there… I always went down to the fire station located in ward 8 not too far from where I live.”

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