Will it be safe for students to return next quarter?

With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing that we will be moving to phase three of reopening, will students and their parents be willing to physically attend classes this upcoming quarter?

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Since the freshman class last year was overloaded by around 400 students if students want to return to school it will have to be determined if there is enough room in the school to accommodate them.

Jacob Reiter, Staff Writer

This previous week the guidelines of stage three went into effect throughout the entire state, those being that businesses can be open to maximum occupancy and that local governments can’t enforce public health guidelines with fines. If local governments want to keep capacity below 100 percent for restaurants, they must submit economic impact analysis report on the restaurant industry and why they think limiting capacity is needed. With these new guidelines in place students and their parents may perceive that the threat that COVID presents is lessening and that physically attending school may be safe. Personally, I have been attending school since it started in August and aside from four possible cases, there has been no transmission of COVID within school walls. Despite DeSantis giving the go-ahead, may people still feel it is too soon, most notably Dr. Anthony Fauci who reacted to DeSantis’ announcement of phase three by saying it’s “very concerning to me. When you’re dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble.” The CDC is still recommending that everyone wears face coverings in public and practice social distancing as much as possible but that is hardly anything new. The way I personally have seen things playing out is that in August, parents and students were afraid that schools would be hot-spots for infections and chose not to have their children to attend school in person; as a result of this there are so few students in attendance that East Lake has seen almost no negative effects of COVID other than the general guidelines put in place by the CDC and the state. It is still ultimately up to the students and their parents to decide if they will return for the next quarter of school in three weeks’ time from now, but I am looking forward to possibly seeing some familiar faces again.