COVID-19, the deadly virus that has taken the world by storm, has affected every corner of the world. Even our town Santa Barbara has been dramatically affected by this virus. The plan was that we would go back to school on January 19, 2020, but even that has been questioned because of the number of people who have gotten covid. Santa Barbara is one of the 40 counties where the Covid-19 case rate had gone up by 90%, which setbacks our town to what we were doing months ago to prevent this virus from spreading. So you may be asking yourself what this setback means for school?
The first thing that is changing is the day we go back to school. We are currently in the purple tier and if by January 19 we are still in this tier students will not be able to move into hybrid learning. For all the students who are studying in cohorts on campus, they will have to return to the stricter purple tier guidelines. This means that there can only be 16 people in each cohort and no mixing cohorts. Purple tier also means that there will be no more in-person meetings amongst staff. Meeting 1:1 with a student/family is acceptable so long as all safety guidelines are followed.
Overall in Santa Barbara going back into the purple tier means business reopenings go backward. Restaurants can once again only offer takeout or outside dining; movie theaters, gyms, museums, and more are only open outdoors while bars, breweries, and brewpubs not offering outdoor sit-down dining are closed entirely; and all retail stores are allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity. To get out of the purple tier we can all do our part. This includes trying to limit gatherings with many people and even limiting the number of people one sees to 1-2 friends. If we got out of the purple tier, it would also mean that we would be able to move into hybrid learning on January Nineteenth.