By Saanvi Mirchandani and Jada Seto
On November 18, 2020, students and staff were informed that another student at New Hyde Park Memorial tested positive for COVID-19. This announcement immediately followed the news that all New York City public schools have been shut down and are implementing full remote learning for at least through the week after Thanksgiving.
People have seen a drastic increase in the number of coronavirus cases in New Hyde Park and across the nation. Many experts warn that this is only the start of a deadly third wave of the coronavirus. Case numbers and infection rates are soaring as hospitals begin to near their capacities. The number of cases is projected to increase even more due to approaching holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"Even as a remote student, I think the school is doing a good job of maintaining safety restrictions. I'd say the majority of cases we've had so far are because of people being reckless outside of school, not inside. The closing of NYC schools is concerning, though, because we are very close to the city and we have plenty of people who go to the city regularly for work or for leisure. It is very possible that we can expect a correspondence in rising cases here on LI as well," said senior Khushi Shah.
Source from @NYGovCuomo
Hospitalizations in New York State are rising and are projected to reach numbers higher than the initial COVID-19 breakout in the spring.
At this time, NHP hybrid students may be concerned about schools completely shutting down, but Nassau County Executive Laura Curran expressed that closing schools would be a last resort. Her official statement conveys her disagreement with the decision to shut down NYC schools and reassures residents that she will do everything in her capacity to keep schools safely open.
Curran said that "schools would close on a region-wide level if the positivity rate went about 9% on a seven-day average," according to a recent report by News 12 Long Island.
NHP students continue to experience the short closures of school due to positive cases, which has caused many to worry about the possibility of contracting COVID-19. Some students have even decided to switch to full remote learning to decrease the risk of contracting the virus.
"When the district decided to go hybrid, we all knew that at least one positive case was inevitable. I think hybrid works if we keep wearing masks and taking precautions. Eventually, we’ll be back to normal," said junior Nicholas Singh.
“On a positive note, I believe SCHSD has done an excellent job with their policy with COVID response...”
Due to the recent events of the election and Halloween, people throughout the nation have been celebrating without proper safety precautions, continuing to affect the number of coronavirus cases. In New York, Governor Cuomo has announced precautionary measures that include limiting indoor gatherings to ten people and mandating restaurants and bars to shut down at 10pm. Various states are now partially or fully shutting down as well as issuing new stay-at-home orders in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
"I think that regardless of positive COVID-19 cases in the school, we should still remain open. According to all the experts, masks, social distancing, and disinfectants work. If these statements hold true, then school should not be a risk. All the closings we had were proven to be people contracting it out of the building and no spread was traced. I think it's ridiculous to follow a governor's decision who has a political agenda to adhere to. On a positive note, I believe SCHSD has done an excellent job with their policy with COVID response and almost has a flawless system in preventing spreading through school," said senior Giancarlo Valle.
As coronavirus cases rise throughout each state, it is important for everyone to continue practicing social distancing, diligent mask-wearing, and avoiding large crowds in order to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.