U.S. takes lead for highest number of COVID-19 cases

As the coronavirus pandemic progresses, Diamond Bar High School has continued to adapt during quarantine. 

On March 20, Walnut Valley Unified School District Superintendent Robert  Taylor alerted parents and students that the school closure will be prolonged, now lasting until May 5, due to demands by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. 

As a result of this extension, several changes have been made to end of the year exams. Students can take the AP exams, which will be 45-minutes long and free-response only for the 2019-2020 school year, online via their home devices. On March 25, students and schools received access to live AP review lessons for free on the College Board website and its YouTube channel. College Board will update the test dates and criteria by April 3.

In order to keep students updated during this period, DBHS Principal Reuben Jones has reformatted his weekly memos to Brahma Briefings, which release updates about school closure. The school has also added a new student resources page on their website, providing Brahmas with review worksheets and videos for most subjects. 

As the outbreak’s influence has continued to escalate, DBHS has been forced to suspend or postpone regular school trips and events.  

“There were many senior events and performances I had been waiting for and what was supposed to be a reward for the past four years of hard work, were suddenly taken away,” senior Ashley Fang said. “Really the whole school closure felt like an abrupt cut to my life.”

For others, the school’s closure has also augmented the reality of the current situation surrounding the pandemic not only nationally, but also globally. 

“My major concern with the virus is that it’s going to affect [next] year and summer and not just this one,” senior Yuyao Sun said. “With travel bans, a lot of seniors, including [myself], who [have family] across aisles in say Taiwan likely won’t be able to visit them after this summer.”

The city of Diamond Bar has confirmed two coronavirus cases and has also issued the closing of non-essential businesses, advising citizens to only go outside their homes to purchase groceries or medical supplies as of March 19. 

Currently, California has over 100,000 cases and a death toll of more than 80 people. On March 24, Los Angeles County health officials reported the first death of a minor due to the virus. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order in order to help slow down the outbreak. The goal of this plan is to prevent overwhelming hospitals with sick patients. According to this statement, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, laundry and food services will remain open as well as essential government functions like the police forces. 

Instagram, among other social media platforms, has assisted in spreading awareness about the virus and has promoted self-quarantining with its new feature, Stay Home. The tag encourages individuals to practice social distancing, with many social media celebrities using the tag to display the different activities that can be done from home. Other platforms like Snapchat have helped spread precautionary methods through stickers which can be used on posts. 

Despite the U.S. having the highest number of cases worldwide with 101, 276 cases as of March 27, President Donald Trump has announced that he hopes to reopen the country’s economy by Easter. 

Meanwhile, in New York, conditions continue to worsen with the state accounting for about 5 percent of coronavirus cases worldwide with over 23,000 cases as of March 27. According to an article by The Guardian, the virus’ growth is partially attributed to the expansion of testing within the state. Due to this, all non-essential businesses have closed and citizens were instructed to stay indoors starting March 22. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have pressured the White House to provide federal assistance.

In Florida, there have been a total of 3,198 cases and 46 deaths, as of March 27. Some state municipalities have instructed residents to stay indoors after the “Safer at Home” order went into effect on March 24 after the University of Tampa announced that five students had tested positive for coronavirus. Gov. Ron DeSantis has sent requests to President Trump, asking that he declare a major disaster as Florida continues to respond to the pandemic.

DeSantis has also requested medical support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as additional supplies, according to an NBC Miami article. The state has asked all New York travelers coming into the state to self-quarantine for two weeks. DeSantis has placed the Florida National Guard at major airports to meet travelers from the New York Area.