The Orange County Health Care Agency reported 267 new coronavirus cases and three coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday.
Orange County is currently in the red tier of California’s four-tier monitoring system. Last week, the daily case rate increased from 5.1 to 6 cases per 100,000 people. If the trend continues, the county will fall back into the most restrictive tier, the purple tier.
Teachers and students have been adapting to the safety measures that come with hybrid learning.
Since the transition to hybrid learning, there have been major changes to the classroom. Lauren Hua is a teacher at canyon high school. She has more students who chose to attend in person than online.
Everyone must wear masks, and classrooms have to stagger desks and have plexiglass.
Hua: They are still essentially engaging in distance learning because half of my students are on the online space. I can’t leave them unattended, too. So, it’s been challenging. It’s definitely different. It’s not the same social experience that a lot of people assumed it would be.
And public health officials have been warning that with the holidays just around the corner, more people will be traveling visiting family and friends. Combine this with flu season, and it can all add up to a rise in covid-19 cases, which will affect schools.
Hua: We’ve now experienced distance learning and in its fullest capacity and hybrid learning because we’ve been doing this since October. The students are used to it, the teachers are used to it. And I’ve learned that students and teachers and staff alike were all very keen to adapt.
Deborah Park is a behavior technician who works with students in Orange County. She has been helping her student navigate through hybrid learning.
Park: The schools will be highly affected, given that it’s been less than a full semester trying to do hybrid. I believe that the faculty and staff will probably have to meet and really discuss and discern how to move forward with school.
Park sees it’s difficult for her student to engage with distance learning, which they do one day a week.
Park: On Wednesdays, we go completely online and during that time you go from each class through different Google class links, and it’s been pretty difficult for middle schoolers to stay engaged while being on the computer the whole time.
Both Hua and Park say their students are far more engaged in person than online. They want to urge families to stay safe over the break, so Orange doesn’t go to the purple tier.