The rate of coronavirus infection is on the rise, but what does this mean for returning to the SBHS campus in January like planned? First off, most of these new cases are appearing in Isla Vista. UCSB and SBCC students are continuing to party on a large scale despite the pandemic. This means that advancing in California’s weekly tier assessments is being hindered by multiple frats and sororities. An Instagram account @ucsb.party has been posting videos of these parties. Santa Barbara county was on the cusp of entering the second to last tier, orange, in the state’s 4 tier system, but we now remain solidly in the red. The county’s total number of COVID-19 cases is 9,760 as of Friday, October 16. The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the county remains at 120.
The Santa Barbara Unified School District chose to have students return to campus in January in the hopes that we would be in the gold tier, the last of the 4. However, legally as a red tiered county we can return to school. The infection rates are said to be under control within the frats and sororities, but there is no way to be sure every person that came in contact with those people, are being tested and are quarantining. Testing has proven that the infection has not been contained within those houses.
Halloween and the holidays are right around the corner, making it highly likely more and more people will be coming in contact with each other. Will cases rise to the point where we have knocked down another tier and unable to return to school? It seems unlikely at the moment, but as we’ve seen, we are in the midst of unprecedented times and it is hard to say for certain what could happen.
Dons, please stay safe, As the Santa Barbara public health director, Do-Reynoso, said, “A small outbreak can quickly spread in a dense community to become widespread community transmission”.
Featured Picture Credit: Instagram @dailynexus