COVID Cases: What You Need to Know

Masked student walks, stressed about COVID-19.
Masked student walks, stressed about COVID-19.
D’Andre Bevins

The massive COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was a big deal, and, while there are vaccines and more safety precautions for the illness, COVID should still be taken seriously, especially in public settings. COVID is still a huge problem in the U.S., being the third leading cause of death behind cancer and heart disease. We are still facing the aftershock of the initial pandemic.

Like many illnesses, COVID has advanced into sub variants. The illness has evolved over the last three years. While this is nothing to be scared of, it’s something to treat with caution. There are currently five major sub variants, including XBB.1.16, XBB.1.9, and XBB.2.3.

With the current fall season and the quickly approaching winter months, seasonal illnesses are very much a concern for many. When tracking COVID 19 cases, many cases of COVID followed the same pattern as seasonal influenza. With this data, many medical experts expect there to be more cases and deaths caused by COVID during these months.

Even though COVID-19 has a vaccine, that doesn’t mean that COVID should be brushed off. A person can still spread COVID or one of its variants, even if they do not show symptoms. According to the CDC, as of October of 2023, over 600 million cases and 6.5 million deaths due to COVID have been reported worldwide. In Philadelphia, there have been about 8,000 cases as of the first week of October. Countries that are part of the World Health Organization, which includes the United States, have reported a 63% decrease of COVID cases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated COVID vaccine guidelines, giving people more updated descriptions of what vaccines to get and when to get them.

While masks are not publicly mandated, it is recommended that people wear masks in heavily populated or condensed areas. This is especially important in a school setting, as many students travel by public transportation and have to be in close proximity to other students while at school. For every 17 students, about 3 students test positive for COVID. Given FLC’s student population, this has resulted in a good amount of students getting COVID, as well as many coming down with seasonal illnesses.

Overall, staying safe in school, especially during seasonal changes, is important to the entire student body. If you are displaying symptoms of an illness, contact a doctor and stay home. It also helps to wear masks, consistently wash your hands, and get vaccinated whenever possible. Staying safe in school includes protecting yourself and others from getting sick.

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Maya Williams, Photography Editor
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