COVID Confusion How Newsome Reacts to the Pandemic

Crowded hallway: Newsome students walking to class in very crowded hallways. Students are not six feet apart.

Emily Khor


Debra Garcia, Features Editor

   The Coronavirus has taken its toll on life as we know it, more specifically, Newsome High School life. The school has been changed drastically, and even then, COVID-19 cases seem to be higher than ever. 

   With many COVID-19 guidelines being put into place one would think that cases would go down, instead, many kids every day get that infamous call from the school telling them that they were exposed to someone with the virus and needs to quarantine for 14 days. 

   The current CDC guideline is if a student tested positive for the virus, they must quarantine for ten days since the test. Likewise, if a student is exposed to someone who tested positive, they must self-isolate for 14 days since the last contact with the person they were exposed to. 

   Currently, Newsome has the most COVID-19 cases in Hillsborough County. With a total of 20 cases and ten then testing positive, the numbers go up each day. Think about how many kids have to go home and quarantine for each case. Those numbers add up. 

   These students under quarantine must transition to an E-learning life for up to two weeks. These kids are used to going to class and seeing their peers, as opposed to logging on to eight zoom calls a day. Though, they get used to it eventually. 

   Leandro Garcia, 11th, was exposed to the virus in one of his classes and was sent home to self-isolate. His transition to E-learning was easier than most. “I adjusted fine, I’m permanently E-learning now. It’s safer and easier.” he says. 

   It is indeed safer. There are many theories on why Newsome is leading in COVID cases. A simple reason is because of Newsome’s large population. According to Public Schools Review, Newsome has a population of 3,034 students. Let’s say that half of those students are E-learners, that still leaves 1,517 students at the school. These high numbers increase a chance in the virus spreading quicker. 

   Social distancing with that many kids is difficult to achieve. Most classes are packed full of students at maximum capacity in order to consolidate, there is little room to walk in the hallways and let’s not get started on the lunchrooms. It doesn’t help that some students and teachers choose to not wear their masks. All teachers are doing is telling students to wear masks, whether or not the students choose to listen.  

    No wonder many kids are sent home every day due to either positive tests or exposure.  Rachel Petro, 10th, believes that the COVID guidelines put into place by the school is doing  good. “It’s trying to keep everyone safe, I just wish everyone took the mask thing seriously,” she says.