Local K-12 students express fear as COVID-19 cases rise

LA+County+is+reporting+that+COVID-19+cases+are+rising+in+K-12+schools.+Students+return+to+Norwalk+High+School+and+follow+safety+restrictions+such+as+wearing+a+face+mask+and+social+distancing+on+Aug.+12%2C+2021+Photo+credit%3A+Vincent+Medina

LA County is reporting that COVID-19 cases are rising in K-12 schools. Students return to Norwalk High School and follow safety restrictions such as wearing a face mask and social distancing on Aug. 12, 2021 Photo credit: Vincent Medina

Fatima Durrani

As schools begin to resume on-campus learning, the COVID-19 Delta variant sparks anxiety within parents, students and staff leaving them worried about school closures.

Governor Newsom has also expressed his concerns about how the disease could possibly affect the academic year in a negative way.

Districts like Norwalk La Mirada in LA County have a daily 7-day average of about 25 cases.

NLMUSD has created a COVID-19 safety plan to prevent further spread of the disease with policies such as sanitizing, social distancing and working from home (if one is vulnerable).

“Some kids have been sent home because of coughing and sneezing,” said Mishal Lateef, a Lexington Junior High School student from Orange County. “I fear that my school will close because COVID-19 is increasing.”

Lateef said students at her school do obey mask rules. The student from Lexington Junior High is afraid that there is a chance of closure due to those who refuse safety protocols.

The CDC stated that when students receive a vaccine, wear a mask and social distance, cases tend to decrease.

Dr. Mary Sieu, superintendent of the ABC Unified School District, said she does not fear school closures. She mentioned that students obey safety protocols such as wearing masks indoors and outdoors at all times.

Sieu said that the district lost a lot of students, as about 700 gravitated to online learning.

She expressed how she hopes to see more students change to in-person learning rather than online.

“Sometimes I worry that we might have to revert to virtual learning,” Bushra Syed, a student from Segerstrom High School said.

Syed said most students have been complying with the mask rule, but that it’s hard to follow social distancing policies during the passing periods.

Sieu noticed that the increase of cases within the ABCUSD has been mostly due to contact with family members and outside sources rather than within the schools.

According to New York Times, cases have been increasing in LA County with an average of over one thousand per day.

Compared to the start of September in LA County, cases have leveled out due to students following procedures within districts like ABCUSD.