Morton East is on the fight against COVID19

Period 2 Journalists

How’s our school preparing for the Corona-Virus?

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from cats to humans and MERS-CoV from camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. COVID19 was one of those.

“Off the record, the school does have a policy on this: official letters are going out to family members, on saying to wash our hands and protect-ourselves and if we see kids acting weird, coughing etc., then we will take action,”  Dean Mr. Enrique Garcia said.

Also, wash your hands after you eat, and don’t touch your face.

The Morton District is not concerned with the spread of the Coronavirus within the foreign exchange students that come each year from Durango.   The school isn’t really concerned because there has not been any confirmed cases from Durango, Mexico. However, there have already been 7 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the state of Illinois overall that have a variety of health concerns.

“We aren’t concerned because they do screenings as standard procedure now in the airports for safety, and those found with a fever or other symptoms related to that of the virus are subject to quarantine for a 14 day period at most.” said Morton East security guard Louis.

It’s important to know that Morton community has no known cases of Corona Virus. So there no plans on closing the school at this time.          Loyola Academy closed after student being in contact with someone who has the Corona Virus.   School closed on the north side of Chicago after teacher tested positive for Corona Virus.    Even if a case of Corona Virus is detected in the community the principal doesn’t plan on closing the school.

“If the community has a case of Corona Virus the school wouldn’t close but run test of students making sure students don’t catch the Corona Virus,” stated Mr. Jose Gamboa, the principal of Morton East High School.

Another important thing to mention is to make sure to always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you feel a sneeze/cough coming on cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze/cough, dispose the tissue to the garbage then wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) or use hand sanitizer after disposing the tissue. If you don’t have access to a tissue, sneeze/cough into your upper sleeve and not your hands.

The District is addressing the coronavirus by keeping in contact with local, state and federal health departments. Sending everyone file reports, alerts and calls to inform in the district.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, first developed in Wuhan, China. As of now, there are 96,979 cases, 3,311 deaths and 53,983 are recovered.

“Student well-being and safety are the district’s highest priorities and CPS is working closely with (the Chicago Department of Public Health) to finalize updated guidance for schools with more detailed information,” & “We encourage all families, students, and staff, to refer to CDPH for the latest developments and stay home if they are feeling sick.” said spokeswoman Emily Bolton for Chicago

What are students and families doing to prevent the spread of the corona virus.

The way people are trying to Prevent the Corona viruses is by Avoiding close contact with people who are sick and by washing your hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


Ways to prevent disease/corona virus is by trying to make avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, stay home when sick and cover your cough or sneeze with tissue, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

“When I wake up in the morning, I take a shower and use a scrub to wash my face brush my teeth but run my tooth brush with hot water to kill bacteria and wash my hands after school and after work.” Morton East senior, Leslie Hernandez said.

What this quote shows is that students are taking notice and are taken action to be safe and stop the spread of the virus.

“Where can students purchase disinfectant, and how much is it?”  Places where students could buy disinfectants would be in:

  • Walgreens 
  • Office Depot
  • CVS
  • Dollar Store
  • Walmart
  • Sam’s
  • Home Depot
  • Target  

For the price, it depends on what type of package you choose.  Disinfectant can cost between $3 or up to more than $30.

“I went to Sam’s and literally there was no water, or cleaning stuff,” mother of a senior morton east student said.

A majority of people feel more apathetic than concerned towards COVID19.  With COVID19 now present in the United States, many people are concerned with catching the disease and started taking precautionary measures to prevent it from spreading. The first outbreaks in Wuhan, China sparked many to post on social media about the virus. Numerous posts included racist comments and only targeted Asians with the spread of this new disease.

“I believe majority of the people in the community are concerned about the disease and try to prepare themselves by gathering the essentials to fight against the virus,” the Morton East School Nurse Rosalba said.

Although there are people who feel concerned about COVID19, most feel more apathetic towards the virus.

“Personally, I believe that people aren’t really apathetic towards the virus, but mostly joke around to cope with it,” senior Emmanuel Delgado said.

As a comparison, it’s good to look at how many cases of the flu we have this year.  From October 1, 2019, to February 29, 2020, a total of 16,819 reports of influenza.  According to the CDC’s weekly U.S. influenza surveillance report, states the majority of the U.S. is in a high-level range of influenza reports during 2019-20.  Around 62.6% of children 6 months through 17 years of age have received the flu shot and around 45.3% of adults 18 and older have also received the flu shot.  The flu shot is a vaccine that is meant to help prevent having the flu during the year or especially during flu season. Many doctors and pharmacists recommend everyone to get their flu shot every year to protect themselves from having the flu.

“We do advertise and we do inform to the patient the benefits of getting the flu shot. We always encourage our patients to get the flu shot,” said Rocio Vargas-Garcia, Site Coordinator at Cook County Health.

Many people don’t believe in the flu shot and think it’s not beneficial at all, but some say different.

“My understanding is that it does help which is why we do promote it and encourage other patients to have the flu shot,” said Rocio Vargas- Garcia, Site Coordinator at Cook County Health.

The flu shot isn’t the only way to prevent viruses, but there are also many habits people should add to their daily lifestyle to protect themselves.

“Wash your hands often (more than usual), keep hand sanitizer handy, especially when in public areas, don’t touch your face, and make sure to constantly be cleaning,” said Rocio Vargas- Garcia, Site Coordinator at Cook County Health.