By DESTINY RAMOS
A new school year started for the Redlands Unified School District and a question arose on whether or not safety is enough for students. Since last month, the district website has become updated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 through a district dashboard on their website.
The district dashboard tracks and publishes confirmed cases within a two-week period for each school.
The RUSD recently added a COVID-19 dashboard on the district website for the schools within the district. The dashboard includes a 14-day covid case chart and newly reported cases. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic Photo)
COVID-19 was first discovered in December of 2019, and later caused the global pandemic that still remains, two years later. Exactly a year after the first case was discovered, the first Delta variant case was reported. Since then, it swept its way through Europe before reaching the United States in March of 2021, where the variant is now predominant.
Around the same time the Delta variant made its way to the US, most, if not all, students and staff had begun to make their return to schools all over the country. In the RUSD, learning online was an option while being on-campus was the other. Depending on the state, some students might not have had the option to learn from the comfort of their own homes. Many students were forced to go on campus or stay online, and others got to choose for themselves. Whether or not students chose to attend school in person, they would all have returned to school regardless of state in August 2021.
As students around the US began school, COVID-19 rates escalated very quickly. In the span of a month, the seven-day case rate had risen from 30,000 per week on July 20, to 145,000 cases a week by Aug. 20. More than half of these cases were reported from students and school staff around the country.
After a year of distance learning, half of the RUSD students returned to school in April. Many precautions were taken to ensure the safety of students. These precautions included the requirement of masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations around the school and the use of plexiglass in classrooms.
Yet, all precautions, minus the mask requirements and hand sanitizer stations, were lifted in August.
Some students agree schools are not safe to attend due to COVID-19 at the moment.
“[Covid cases] can’t be controlled and are still spreading through schools regardless of masks. They both spread through sports, and through people who didn’t even know had covid or the delta variant,” stated Jenna Tampubolon, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School.
Others prefer to attend due to their experience with lockdown earlier in the pandemic.
“I don’t care if it’s smart or not, I’d rather live with Covid than go insane in solitude,” said Rico Weaver, a sophomore at Citrus Valley.
A link to the RUSD COVID-19 dashboard can be found at https://www.redlandsusd.net/Page/18775