COVID Vaccine Clinic Opportunity at Niles West


By Katelin Chong, Arts and Entertainment Editor

With school back in-person, Niles West has had to update COVID protocols. Both students and staff are expected to follow these rules to keep everyone safe. Even with these obligations, however, some students do not feel completely protected.

“Although I was very eager to come to school and meet my teacher and friends, I was quite astonished when I saw the cafeteria and the poorly executed guidelines of how people sit so close to each other without masks, especially with the increase of student population in school,” senior Ria Patel said. “I felt even more unsafe, even in the hallways when I walk when people wear their masks under their noses.”

According to Niles West’s COVID-19 Guidance document, if a student tests positive for COVID, they must quarantine for two weeks and take a COVID test if they are not vaccinated before returning to school. If the student is fully vaccinated but is in the vicinity of someone who tested positive, they will be under watch for five days before taking a COVID test as well.

Recently, West agreed to hold a COVID Vaccination Clinic on Saturday Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House. Principal Dr. Karen Ritter gave some insight into why West made this decision.

“Someone reached out to us from the Illinois Department of Health, they’re hosting all these vaccine clinics all over the place. Many schools are doing the same thing, so they reached out to us and asked if we wanted to apply,” Ritter said. “I thought it’d be a good idea to offer the vaccine to as many community members as possible.”

Ritter states the reason for the clinic is not solely because of the rising amount of cases in the community and at West — the school wanted to provide a more convenient way to get the vaccine.

“Right now, our student vaccine percentage is still a little low, so we wanted to make sure we provided this opportunity for students,” Ritter said.

According to the COVID dashboard for Niles Township, 58 students were quarantined at North on Aug. 27, while West had 55 students quarantined. Students must wear masks at all times inside the building and social distance to the best of their abilities with physical touch with one another being very restricted.

Go to the vaccination clinic at Niles West on Saturday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House to get the first dose of the vaccination if you are interested.