Should School be Open in Purple Tier?


Image provided by Google.

Kiara Azuma, Staff Writer

Orange County, along with many other counties in California, shifted from the red “substantial”  tier to the purple “widespread” tier in their COVID-19 status since Nov. 16. Schools that have reopened during the red tier are permitted to stay open for hybrid students. But, many are questioning the safety behind this decision. 

  The cases for California are up to 1.12 million and there are nearly eight thousand new cases every day. If school is a place where many people gather, is it safe for students to continue coming to school when COVID-19 is spreading at such high rates?

  Schools should not be open in the purple tier for the safety of school staff and students. Especially in a largely populated school, the spread of COVID-19 is far more likely. Often, students do not report their COVID-19 cases creating the belief that there are little to no cases in their schools. 

  During the lunch break, many students remove their masks and sit at a close distance from each other, potentially spreading the virus. Temperatures are taken at the beginning of the day, but sometimes the thermometer is not accurate, or students may not show signs of fevers even when they have COVID-19. Many times, a student may be asymptomatic and spread the virus unknowingly, which another person could bring home to another family member who is at high-risk. 

  While many students benefit from being able to go to school in-person to meet their friends or have a better focus in class, however to stop this pandemic that is increasingly widespread it is more important to take the precautions needed to prevent more people from getting the virus. 

  Many students have already shifted from hybrid to online, and having all students be online would be easier, especially for the teachers. They do not have to teach in front of two audiences, and the class size will no longer be unbalanced. 

  In addition to this, the holiday season is coming up and students are more likely to gather with other families and friends to celebrate potentially spreading the virus to other students and staff when they come back from vacation. 

  For all the students and teachers, it would be safer for schools to close during the purple tier, or have modifications to adjust a safer learning environment for everyone.