Should Schools Reopen Before Summer : UPDATED

May 6th, 2020

Eric Gaillard/Reuters
Workers sprayed disinfectant at the Saint Exupery primary school in Cannes, France, on Tuesday.

With parents and teachers alike pushing for school to start up sooner rather than later, governors are faced with the question as to whether or not it is safe.

Even our president, Donald Trump, wants schools to re-open as soon as possible. “Some of you might start thinking about school openings, because a lot of people are wanting to have the school openings. It’s not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through,” he said. While addressing Vice President Mike Pence, Trump added that it’s something “they can seriously consider, and maybe get going on.”

However, although children aren’t showing as many symptoms when they are infected with the virus, they can still spread it. While at school, children have about three times as many contacts as adults, meaning that they can spread the virus a lot faster than any other age group.

Based on a study published last week in the journal Science, researchers estimated that closing schools won’t stop the outbreak, but it can reduce the surge by about 40 to 60 percent and slow the epidemic’s course.

“My simulation shows that yes, if you reopen the schools, you’ll see a big increase in the reproduction number, which is exactly what you don’t want,” said Marco Ajelli, a mathematical epidemiologist who did the work while at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy.

In the United States alone, there have been over 1.25M confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 72,300 people have died.

Worldwide there are 3,802,466 confirmed cases, 263,096 deaths, and over one million people have recovered.


April 15th, 2020

On Tuesday, April 14th, 2020, New York City officials decided to include over 3,700 people in the state’s death toll. These people testing negative from the virus, but it was still believed to be the cause of death. The change in figures seems to have increased the overall US death toll by 17%.

Overall in the United States, there have been over 640,000 people infected, and over 28,000 related deaths.

To complicate matters, our president, Donald Trump, decided to withhold funding from the World Health Organization. Our president is upset that WHO and other medical professionals are alluding that he did not act fast enough to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

Mr. Trump believes that WHO was, “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly denounced his call to halt funding.

“As he has since day one, the president is ignoring global health experts, disregarding science and undermining the heroes fighting on the frontline, at great risk to the lives and livelihoods of Americans and people around the world,” she said in a statement. “This is another case, as I have said, of the president’s ineffective response, that ‘a weak person, a poor leader, takes no responsibility. A weak person blames others.’ ”

Worldwide there have been over 2 million confirmed cases, 134,560 related deaths, and over 510,000 people have recovered.


April 12th, 2020

With a total of 525,704 confirmed cases and over 20,000 deaths, the United States is now the country with the most fatalities and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

New York still remains the epicenter for the US outbreak, accounting for over a fifth of the cases in the country.

With the pandemic spreading with no sign of slowing down, schools all over the country have closed campuses for the remainder of the school year.

The CDC now recommends that everyone wears masks when leaving the house. However, they do not recommend that people wear N-95 masks.

“The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance,” states the CDC’s website.

Worldwide there are 1,853,155 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 114,247 fatalities, and 423,554 people have recovered from the virus.


April 1st, 2020

Jennifer Huffman, Register
A pedestrian heads up Main Street in downtown Napa on Friday, March 27, during the shelter-at-home order.

Today Napa County reported 3 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the countywide total to 18.

The county’s first death was reported yesterday, March 31st, a 43-year-old woman named Marylou Armer, who lived in American Canyon. She was a detective with the Santa Rosa Police Department.

All three of today’s new cases were in the city of Napa, which now has 12 reported cases of the virus. The 3 others are in American Canyon, St. Helena, and Calistoga, with one case in each city.

As of now, Napa County has tested 391 people, 280 of those tests came back negative, and 93 people are still awaiting their results.

Currently, there are 68 people who are being monitored due to having close contact with an infected individual.

California has a reported 8,584 COVID-19 cases and 183 deaths as of Wednesday. Worldwide there are a reported 935,957 cases, and 47,245 reported deaths.

Will school be held in classrooms before the end of the academic year?

California school campuses will be unable to reopen due to health concerns from the coronavirus said the state superintendent on Tuesday.

“Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning.”

NVUSD has not yet announced a closure for the rest of the school year, however, they are expected to soon.


March 27th, 2020

The US has become the country with the most reported cases of COVID-19, surpassing China and Italy. The states now has a total of 85,724 confirmed cases, and China has 81,340.

Italy has 80,539 confirmed cases which considering the size of their country, is a tragic amount. They also have the most reported deaths, 8,165, and the most reported deaths in a day, 919.

Worldwide, the death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 25,000, and there have been over 575,000 confirmed cases. However, out of those who’ve had the virus, 129,988 have recovered.

As of now, all we can do is self-quarantine to try and ‘flatten-the-curve’ of COVID-19.


March 25th, 2020

On Sunday, March 22nd, Napa County confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19, the deadly virus which has now killed over 20,000 people.

The county confirmed the first case at a press release around 11 a.m., regarding the person in the city of Napa who had tested positive for the virus. A second statement later in the day around 5 p.m. announced that another person had tested positive in St. Helena. Both people have been self-isolating since Sunday evening.

Napa County declined to release additional information regarding the persons’ ages or any underlying medical conditions they may have. However, they said that there is no known connection between the two patients.

“Due to medical privacy requirements and to protect identity, further information about this case will not be released at this time,” the county said.

Napa County officials urged all residents to comply with the Shelter-At-Home Order, especially after two cases have been confirmed.

“Those things should be canceled: playdates, visits with friends and neighbors,” Deputy County Executive Molly Rattigan said. “Use technology as much as you can to stay in contact with your friends and family. Really try to limit your close interactions to those who are in your immediate household.”

However, with test kits in short supply, and testing being limited to only people who are at high risk to the community, it’s hard to really gauge the true number of cases in the area.

“Testing requires a doctor’s order and a screening by public health to prioritize testing supplies and risk factors like underlying conditions, living in congregate facilities, contacts through employment, etc. Patients are scheduled for drive through testing by Public Health if their provider doesn’t test directly. We have increased our testing materials and are expecting testing to continue to increase,” said County spokesperson Noel Brinkerhoff.

Napa County will host daily online briefings about the coronavirus situation on its Facebook page at 3 p.m. in English and 5 p.m. in Spanish.


March 23rd, 2020

A study done by the New York Times suggests that one in four people in the US are under some form of movement ban. However many people aren’t taking the proper measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Although the Order does state that citizens may leave their house to go on a walk, to truly prevent the coronavirus from spreading, people need to stay at home. If you have to go outside, refrain from touching anything, keep six feet of distance from anyone not in your household, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds when you get home.

“If we all do our part and simply stay home, we have a shot,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan said. “This disease can’t spread person-to-person if we’re not out there. The goal here is simple: Stay home, stay safe, save lives.”

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
People exercising in Central Park in New York on March 20.

A standing example of the consequences of not canceling school and following imposed Orders is New York. The state quickly rose in cases with a total of 20,875 infected and at least 157 deaths. However, only 13% percent of people infected were hospitalized.

New York is now the center of the US outbreak and accounts for roughly 5% of cases worldwide.

The jump in cases is due to both the quick growth of the outbreak and an increase of testing in the state.

In the United States there is a total of 33,404 cases and a believed 400 deaths.

Worldwide there are 362,067 people infected and 15,496 people have passed away due to the virus.


March 18th, 2020

Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle
Customers waiting in line at a grocery store in SF after it was announced that a Shelter-At-Home Order would be enforced.

Today, Napa County joined the majority of the Bay Area in announcing/enforcing a Shelter-At-Home Order. This Health Order becomes effective at 12:00 am on March 20th and will continue until April 7th at 11:59 pm, or until unless modified.

While this Order is in place, almost everyone must stay at home unless their work is essential to everyday life. You may also leave the house to purchase necessities such as food and medicine.

In addition to this, you may also go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk, and just get
outside, so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance
between you and other people.

This Health Order is mandatory, and anyone who violates or fails to comply with its terms will get a misdemeanor that is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

The full Health Order is available for you to read here.

What activities are considered essential?

  • Grocery shopping for necessary supplies for the family, household members, and pets, and delivering these supplies to others.
    • These supplies include, but are not limited to canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food and supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
  • Engaging in physical activity outside as long as they comply with Social Distancing Requirements.
    • This includes walking, hiking, biking, or running.
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business.
    • A list of Essential Businesses is available here.
  • Providing care to a family member or pet in another household.

March 17th, 2020

Earlier today, Kansas became the first state to close schools for the rest of the academic year.

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA
Gov. Gavin Newsom during a press conference in Sacramento, March 15, 2020.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said. “It came after close consultation with the education professionals who represent local school boards, school administrators and local teachers. These unprecedented circumstances threaten the safety of our students and the professionals who work with them every day and we must respond accordingly.”

According to a tally done by Entertainment Weekly, nearly 41.5 million of the nearly 50.8 million public school students in the country have now seen their schools close in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Later on Tuesday, California Gavin Newsom said at a press conference that he didn’t believe California Schools would be back in session before the end of the school year.

“I would plan and assume it is unlikely that many of these schools, few if any, will open before the summer break,” he said in a news conference streamed online.

“I don’t want to mislead you, to six-plus million kids in our system and their families, they need to make some plans at a time when a lot of plans are already being curtailed,” said Newsom, a father of four children. “But planning with kids is some of the most challenging planning.”

The state has also applied for a federal waiver that means children would not have to face academic tests once they eventually return to school.


March 14th, 2020

The United States now has at least 2,443 cases of COVID-19 in 49 states, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Out of those, at least 50 people have died.

However, with barely any testing kits available, and a four-day wait for results, there’s no way to know how many cases there really are.

In the past 24 hours, there is believed to have been an additional 6,729 cases of the virus worldwide. This brings the total to 125,048 people infected and 4,613 deaths.

Officials say that we are past containment of the coronavirus. The best way to try to prevent it from getting worse to self-quarantine. They believe that the only thing we can do is to buy time so scientists can develop a vaccine.

As of now, try to avoid leaving the house and make sure to wash your hands.


March 12th, 2020

President Trump issued a travel ban on most European countries Wednesday night. Any returning American citizens will be subjected to a self-quarantine for 14 days and will have to return through one of 13 designated airports.

However, this decision didn’t sit well with the European Council.

In a statement, the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen said that the outbreak is a “global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action.”

“The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation.”

——–

The US now has reported more than 1,280 cases of COVID-19 in 44 states. The majority of those being in Washington state (with 373 cases), and 46 were people rescued from cruise ships and China.

Our vice-president believes that the epidemic will only get worse as time goes on.

“We know there will be thousands of more cases of coronavirus,” Mr. Pence said on NBC’s “Today” show.

In an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 within California, the state is telling citizens to cancel or postpone all gatherings of over 250 people, including sports events conferences and concerts through the end of March.

Aligning with these new guidelines, the NBA suspended the rest of its season after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Thursday morning, at least 38 people have died in the US; 30 in Washington state, four in California, two in Florida, one in New Jersey and one in South Dakota.

Worldwide, there have been 129,843 cases, 4,751 deaths, and 68,672 people who have recovered from the virus.


March 11th, 2020

With the coronavirus now present in over 100 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic. The virus has infected more than 120,000 people and killed more than 4,300 across the globe.

This is the first time WHO has declared a pandemic since 2009 when it gave that designation to a new strain of H1N1 influenza.

Before today, COVID-19 was classified an epidemic however due to it’s increased spread it has been relabeled.

A pandemic is a global outbreak of a serious new illness that requires “sustained transmission throughout the world,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told USA TODAY in February.

A pandemic is different from an epidemic in the way that it is spread worldwide and not confined to one area.

On Tuesday, the number of known cases in the US jumped by more than-third, passing 1,000. There are at least 31 deaths and cases in 37 states (including DC), as of early Wednesday.

Worldwide, around 115,800 have been infected and over 4,200 people have died.


March 10th, 2020

Coronavirus cases in the US have risen from a mere 600 to almost 800 people infected. Out of those cases, 26 people have died.

Here is a breakdown of all the cases across the United States;

Arizona: 6

California: 107 (including two deaths)

Colorado: 15

Connecticut: 2

District of Columbia: 4

Florida: 15 (including two deaths)

Georgia: 17

Hawaii: 2

Illinois: 11

Indiana: 4

Iowa: 8

Kansas: 2

Kentucky: 6

Louisiana: 1

Maryland: 6

Massachusettes: 41

Minnesota: 2

Missouri: 1

Nebraska: 3

Nevada: 4

New Hampshire: 4

New Jersey: 11

New York: 173

North Carolina: 7

Ohio: 3

Oklahoma: 2

Oregon: 14

Pennsylvania: 11

Rhode Island: 3

South Carolina: 7

Tennesee: 6

Texas: 14

Utah: 2

Vermont: 1

Virginia: 5

Washington state: 180 (including 22 deaths)

Wisconsin: 3

However, professionals warn that the number of COVID-19 cases in the US could be over double of what the numbers show now.

“This suggests that the opportunity window to contain the epidemic of COVID-19 in its early stage is closing,” the researchers stated in their paper.

The number of cases is believed to be skewed due to the limited number of testing kits provided to hospitals. As of four days ago, there were only 69 local and state public health labs across 46 states, including D.C.

Currently, the worldwide total for COVID-19 is over 116,000 cases, and more than 4,000 people have died.


March 9th, 2020

Over the weekend, over 230 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the US, and today, the national total rose to 600 infected.

Worldwide, there are over 111,000 cases and 3,884 deaths.

In Seattle, the epicenter of the American outbreak, Gov. Jay Inslee said he was considering mandatory measures to keep people apart. Public school districts in multiple states have also shut down, and many universities have switched to online classes.

San Francisco now has a total of eight confirmed cases, all of which were transmitted by someone who also had the coronavirus.

NVUSD Superintendent Rosanna Mucetti sent out a letter to parents on the 5th regarding what actions the district was planning to take regarding the coronavirus. Currently, they have no plans to shut down schools, seeing the risk of infection still appears to be low in Napa County. However, they are making preparations for school closures if the need does arise.

They also ask that students and staff take preventative actions such as;

  • Washing their hands frequently for 20 seconds
  • Not touching eyes, nose or mouth
  • Covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, using a tissue, sleeve or facemask
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Getting a flu shot (recommended for everyone six months of age and older)

March 5th,  2020

The University of Washington has become the first U.S. university to cancel classes. On Friday they released a statement saying that they would move to online classes starting on Monday. Other schools in the states are expected to follow suit as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Currently, Washington state alone has had at least 13 deaths and 75 infections, all but one announced over the past week.

Around the world, cases have passed 100,000 people, and the death toll has passed 3,200. However, government officials are struggling to take action.

A survey of nurses done in the U.S. found that only 29 percent of hospitals had a plan to isolate potentially infected patients. As the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, hospitals are anxiously awaiting diagnostic kits.

“We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward,” said Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday.

A total of 200 cases have confirmed in the U.S. as of March 5th, and around 50 of those are evacuees from either Wuhan, China, or the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.

Out of those 200, 14 have died – 1 person in California, and 13 people in Washington state.


March 2nd, 2020

As of Monday, there has been a reported a total of 88 cases nationwide, with two fatalities, both of them older adults (in their 50’s and 70’s) with underlying health conditions.

COVID-19 cases globally as of 3/2/2020.

According to a genetic analysis done on the virus in Washington state, where both deaths occurred, suggested that the illness could’ve been spreading for up to six weeks before the virus was detected.

The virus, which has now spread to every continent except Antarctica, has infected nearly 90,000 people, killing more than 3,000.

The daily reported cases for China has begun to lessen, with only a reported 202 new cases, an all-time low in daily cases since January.

As of now, 10 states have reported cases of the coronavirus, those being; Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington state, and Wisconsin.


February 28th, 2020

On Friday, the World Health Organization raised its assessment of the global coronavirus risk from “high” to “very high,” the most serious rating in its new four-stage alert system.

“This is a reality check for every government on the planet,” said Dr. Michael J. Ryan, deputy director of WHO’s health emergency program. “Wake up. Get ready. This virus may be on its way.”

Currently, more than 83,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 in at least 53 countries, and over 2,800 people have died. Infection rates outside of China, are even beginning to surpass those within the country.

However, as the virus spreads, early research is drawing a clearer picture of how the virus behaves, and how it can be contained.

Here is what we know so far:

  • The virus spreads easily, making it difficult to contain.
  • The fatality rate is believed to be over 1%, making it deadlier than the flu.
  • COVID-19 has a lengthy incubation period that is believed to be between 2 and 14 days.
  • Due to the outbreak starting in Wuhan, a very populated area, it spread very quickly.

Vaccines are being tested in clinical trials, but are still at least a year away.

The fatality rate for the virus varies greatly between age groups. A recent study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed 72,314 coronavirus cases in mainland China found the following information:

  • 80% of coronavirus cases are ‘mild’, meaning that they don’t develop into pneumonia.
  • Patients over 80 had a 14.9 percent chance of dying after being infected.
  • People in their 70s were found to have an 8 percent chance of death.
  • Patients infect in their 50s were around three times more likely to die than patients in their 40s, at a rate of 1.3 percent.
  • Children ages 10-19 were as likely to die as people 30s, at just 0.2 percent.
  • Only 1% of cases were children under 10.
  • People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease has a fatality rate of 7-10%.

Here, you can see how the virus is spreading across the world and what the risk of traveling to different areas is.


February 25th, 2020

Coronavirus spreading to the United States is ‘inevitable’ warned the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Meanwhile, worldwide cases have continued to worsen. South Korea exceeded 1,000 cases, Italy saw a 45 percent one-day increase, and Iran reported at least 15 deaths.

“We cannot hermetically seal off the United States to a virus,” said Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and humane services. “And we need to be realistic about that.”

Currently, the US only has 57 cases of the virus, 40 of those attached to the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. Those patients are currently under isolation in hospitals, and there is no sign of person-to-person transmission.

Over 80,000 people have been infected in over two-dozen countries, and the death toll has risen past 2,600.


February 21st, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has started what the World Health Organization is calling an “infodemic”. Fake information is being spread on social and is causing not only misinformation but also panic.

One of the most popular lies being spread is that the coronavirus was a manmade bioweapon and that it has killed over 100,000 people. Where in reality, the death toll is only at ~2,200 people.

To battle this “infodemic” WHO is sharing posts on social media to debunk the widely circulated rumors. To combat this they’ve initiated a pilot program called The project is called EPI-WIN (WHO Information Network for Epidemics).

“We need a vaccine against misinformation,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program.

Currently, there have been a total of 76,767 confirmed cases and believed 2,247 deaths.


February 19th, 2020

The death toll for the coronavirus has surpassed 2,000 today, and the number infected has risen past 75,000. However, with all these new cases rolling in, we’re forgetting that over thousands of people have already recovered.

With no clue to when the outbreak will end, officials are battling with the issue of reinfection, whether people who are cured can “catch” the virus again.

Li QinGyuan, director of pneumonia prevention and treatment at China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, says a protective antibody is generated in those who are infected.

“However, in certain individuals, the antibody cannot last that long,” Li said. “For many patients who have been cured, there is a likelihood of relapse.”

Currently, they still don’t know the answer.


February 18th, 2020

Contrary to popular belief, the coronavirus is deadlier and more dangerous than the common flu. Lots of people, to reduce panic, have brought up statics from the past years of the flu, saying that during the 2017-18 flu season, about 61,000 people died.


Although the coronavirus hasn’t yet surpassed the number of deaths, early analysis shows that there is more reason to be more about coronavirus than about the flu.

Looking at the cases to death ratio, studies have realized that while the flu might have killed more people, it’s mortality rate is only 0.1% in the United States, versus the 2.3% mortality rate of the coronavirus.

“I think it is likely we’ll see a global pandemic,” Harvard public health professor, Marc Lipsitch, said. “If a pandemic happens, 40% to 70% of people worldwide are likely to be infected in the coming year.”

Among those who passed away, 30 percent were in their 60s, 30 percent were in their 70s and 20 percent were age 80 or older. Though infection rates between men and women were roughly the same, men made up nearly 64% of the deaths.

However, patients with underlying medical conditions, like cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, died at higher rates.

As of today, there have been a reported 72,436 cases, with a death toll of 1,868.

How to protect yourself from the coronavirus

In general, the public should do “what you do every cold and flu season,” said Dr. John Wiesman, the health secretary in Washington state — where the first US case of Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed.

This includes washing your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 2o seconds.

If you’re the one displaying symptoms – fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and trouble breathing – cover your entire mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use either your bent elbow or tissue that you throw away immediately afterward.

The World Health Organization also recommends staying at least three feet away from anyone who might be infected with the virus.

Scientists are currently working on a vaccine for the virus, but we shouldn’t expect it anytime soon.

The US National Institutes of Health is on it’s way to developing one but says it will take at least a few months before clinical trials start and more than a year until a vaccine might actually become available.


February 12th, 2020

Cases in the US as of 2/12/2020.

The number of coronavirus cases reported in China has seemed to slow down, however, a WHO official says it’s too soon to predict the end of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We would love to be able to predict the future,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergency program, said during a news conference on Wednesday. “I think we have to be very cautious.”

On Wednesday there were a reported 44,730 cases of coronavirus in China, with 1,114 deaths. Outside of China, there are 441 cases and one death said the World Health Organization.


February 10th, 2020

Ninety-seven people died from the coronavirus on Sunday, a new daily record since the virus was first found. The death toll is now 908 people, which surpasses the number of deaths due to SARS.

The number of confirmed infections also rose to 40,171, most of them in the Hubei Province.

On Saturday, a United States citizen who was in Wuhan died from the coronavirus. The death has raised questions over whether the government is doing enough to ensure the safety of Americans who are stuck in China.

The US currently has no plans to evacuate citizens in other parts of China although many of them wish to leave the area.


February 6th, 2020

Coronavirus cases and deaths have continued to soar in China, according to official data released earlier today. Nationwide, more than 70 new deaths have been reported, and a total of 3,100 new cases emerged in the past 24 hours.

This new data brings the total number of deaths in China to at least 636, and the total number of cases 31,161.


February 5th,  2020

Today, another case of coronavirus was confirmed in the US, bringing the total number of cases to 12. The infected is an adult from Wisconsin who traveled to Beijing before falling ill and was exposed to people with the virus while traveling in China.

Mike Blake
Personnel in protective clothing approach an aircraft full of evacuees from Wuhan after it arrived at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California, U.S., January 29, 2020.

Their condition is reported to be mild, and did not require hospitalization, officials said. The individual is currently in self-quarantine at home.

Earlier, hundreds more Americans evacuated from Wuhan landed in California. The two planes, carrying about 350 people in total, arrived at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California or Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California.

All of the passengers will be under mandatory quarantine for up to two weeks, to determine whether or not they are carrying the coronavirus.

The current death toll is around 564, virtually all of them in mainland China, with more than 28,000 others infected.


February 3rd, 2020

On Sunday, China’s Health Commission reported 361 deaths nationwide for the coronavirus.

However, seeing as over 450 people have recovered from the virus, experts believe that the coronavirus is not as deadly as it sounds. They believe that although the coronavirus has killed more people, the SARS epidemic was still more dangerous. Seeing as its mortality rate was 9.6 percent, and only around 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died.

In addition, there has only been one death outside of China. In the Philippines, a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan became the first person to pass away due to the virus outside of China.

Coronavirus in the U.S.

Number of cases in the US as of 2/3/2020.

The cases of coronavirus in the States has risen to 11, and to over 17,400 worldwide.

There were two new confirmed cases in San Benito County late Sunday. A couple in their 50’s was found to be infected after the husband traveled to Wuhan, the wife hadn’t.

Earlier that day, a woman in Santa Clara County tested positive for the virus after she became ill when she returned from China.

On Friday another man in Santa Clara County was found to have the virus after traveling to Wuhan and Shanghai (he returned Jan. 24).

Other cases in the States include a couple in Chicago, a student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, a person connected to Arizona State University who resides in Tempe, and a 35-year-old man in Snohomish County, Washington.

U.S. Response

To try and prevent the virus from spreading, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is requiring that all flights from China and all passengers who have traveled to China within the last 14 days to be routed through one of 11 designated airports — including John F. Kennedy International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. These airports have been equipped to screen passengers and even quarantine them if necessary.

In addition to this, citizens who are returning from the Hubei providence, or have gone been there in the past two weeks, will be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. Citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China within 14 days of their return, will undergo health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine.

In most cases, foreign nationals (other than the immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the United States.

Discrimination Against Chinese

Due to the mass panic caused by the sudden outbreak, many people have taken the liberty to stigmatize the Chinese.

A few days ago at an elementary school in Ontario, two boys were playing at recess when they were approached by a group of boys wanting to play a game, testing the boys for coronavirus.

This is just a small example of the stereotyping of people of Asian descent that has only worsened as the coronavirus continues to spread.

UC Berkely is even facing backlash over an Instagram post that has since been removed. The post listed xenophobia (racism) along with other possible reactions to the virus spread.

“Please recognize that experiencing any of these can be normal reactions and that over the next few days or weeks you may experience periods of… Xenophobia: fears about interacting with those who might be from Asia and guilt about these feelings,” the post by the University Health Services’ Tang Center says.

They later apologized for the statement on Twitter, “We apologize for our recent post on managing anxiety around Coronavirus. We regret any misunderstanding it may have caused and have updated the language in our materials.”


January 31st, 2020

As of 1/31/2020, the Wuhan coronavirus has killed more than 200 people and infected nearly 10,000 in more than a dozen countries around the world. The countries that have citizens with the virus are, Australia (9), Cambodia (1), Canada (3), China (9,809), France (6), Finland (1), Germany (6), India (1), Italy (2), Japan (16), Malaysia (6), Nepal (1), Philippines (1), Russia (2), Singapore (16), South Korea (11), Sri Lanka (1), Taiwan (10), Thailand (19), United Kingdom (2), United States (6), United Arab Emirates (4), and Vietnam (5).

Many states have sent planes into Hubei to evacuate citizens from the epicenter of the outbreak. So far 13 countries have evacuated citizens or have made plans to.

The American citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan on the 29th, have now been placed in a mandatory quarantine for 14 days. It was originally voluntary for them to stay at the military base, however, now the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made it mandatory. They were originally there under a three-day voluntary quarantine. So far none of the 195 passengers have shown signs of having the coronavirus.

On January 30th, the World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. According to the CDC, “A PHEIC is declared if an event poses a public health threat to other nations through the spread of disease and potentially requires a coordinated international response.”

WHO also issued a level four health warning, the highest warning possible, urging people not to travel to China.

Due to this, even more, airlines have suspended flights to the area. American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines Holdings said Friday they were suspending flights, joining other international carriers, including British Airways and Indonesia’s Lion Air, that have already done so.

Experts are also positive that the virus can be spread asymptomatically, which is creating even more panic.

“There’s no doubt after reading this paper that asymptomatic transmission is occurring,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This study lays the question to rest.”

Asymptomatic transmission means that the coronavirus can be spread before the infected starts to show symptoms.


January 29th, 2020

At least 132 people have died from a new coronavirus which started in China. The virus, which is to believe to have originated at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan, is quickly spreading throughout the country. The number of cases rising by 60% on Tuesday, going from around 2,835 on Monday to over 4,515 according to the National Health Commission. The amount of infected spiked again on Wednesday, amounting to over 6,000, a total that surpasses the official cases tallied on the mainland during an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 and 2003.

However, experts are skeptical that official numbers are capturing the full fallout from the virus. Researchers in Hong Kong have warned that the actual number of people infected in Wuhan could already be more than 30 times higher than the official tally.

Map of all coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S.

So far, there have only been five reported cases in the U.S.; two in California and one in Washington, Arizona, and Illinois. All of these cases are contained, and there are no risks to the general public.

“This is a potentially very serious threat, but at this point, Americans should not worry for their own safety,” said Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, “This is a very fast-moving, constantly changing situation.”

As of January 27, 110 samples from 26 states were being tested for coronavirus; five of those have come back positive, and 32 have tested negative. The rest of the results are pending.

Coronavirus cases as of 1/29/2020.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization will again consider whether to declare the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency, something they decided against on January 23rd. However, on that date, there were only 800 known cases and most of them were confined to China. Now, since the amount has multiplied by more than 7, and the amount of deaths has quadrupled, they’ve decided to meet and renegociate.

Major airlines have taken precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The British Airlines, which normally makes multiple flights a week to Beijing and Shanghai, has indefinitely canceled all flights to and from China

Lion Air and Seoul Air of South Korea also suspended all their flights to China, along with United Airlines and Air Canada.

The United States recently sent a plane into China to evacuate American citizens who were in Wuhan. The plane, which was carrying 201 people, landed in Southern California early on Wednesday. The passengers will be quarantined for 72 hours, to assure that they aren’t carrying the virus.

Other countries that have evacuated or plan to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan include France, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Germany, Kazakhstan, Britain, Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, Myanmar, and Australia.

Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press
Riding the subway in Beijing.

Another precautionary measure taken against the virus is the massive lockdown that the government placed over almost 20 cities in China. This quarantine has left an estimated 56 million people trapped with the virus. They also extended the Chinese New Year to try and prevent people from returning to work and spreading the virus. Schools in Beijing have also closed.

However, most people are painting the virus to be a lot worse than it really is. The mortality rate for the virus is estimated to only be slightly over 2 percent. That is considerably lower than death rates from SARS, which killed nearly 10 percent of people infected, and MERS, which killed about 35 percent. Luckily for us, most people who have died from the disease had underlying health conditions that made them more susceptible to pneumonia.

The virus also has not mutated yet, and when it does, it will become more dangerous.

However, that doesn’t stop people from worrying.

“It’s given me some very bad anxiety. I’m worried for everyone,” said Grace Exum, an 8th-grader at Harvest.

Nicki Haubold (8th) agrees, “I really hope it doesn’t get to our school, or [Napa] at all.”

What is a coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

These viruses were all originally transmitted between animals and people. The origin of the Wuhan coronavirus is still under debate, but some believe it came from bats.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of the coronavirus are very similar to those of the flu. The virus can cause fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases it could cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

However, in most cases, the symptoms are only mild to moderate and last for just a few days.

The incubation period for the virus is still unknown, but some believe it could be anywhere between 2 and 14 days.

How does it spread?

Scientists and doctors are still not 100 percent sure how the virus spreading, however, they do know that it can spread person to person and that it can be spread before symptoms show.

The former was proven when a man in Germany contracted the virus from a colleague who had just visited Shanghai, and once again when a tour bus driver in China caught the virus when driving people who had recently been to Wuhan.

The virus is most likely spread by coughing and sneezing like the common cold or flu would be spread.

As of now, all we can do is wait.