Is Morton East being affected by the COVID19 virus?

Period 5 Journalists

Morton East is preparing for the Coronavirus by cleaning everything students use or touch like door handles and other things that students come in contact with.

According to, Schools are starting to close up because of this virus and they think it’s the best way to prevent the Coronavirus since it can spread easily and it’s almost everywhere.

“We have things running on our daily announcements of simple reminders of students to wash their hands and stay clean and make sure we aren’t spreading germs,” Mr. Gamboa said.

Most people say that the best way to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading is by washing your hands every time you touch something and to keep contact away from your face.

“We did send out the robocalls informing people of all the different precautions they should be taking including washing your hands, making sure you’re not shaking people’s hands, if you are sick stay home, and sneeze into your elbow. Janitors are taking extra time to clean door handles, and we are wiping out everything with bleach,” Ms. Rzadzki said.

Nobody in Morton East has confirmed having a connection with an individual that has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus.

According to there have been 7 cases of coronavirus in Chicago already. The recent case was found on Sunday, March 9th, 2020. The resident, a man in his 60s, is currently hospitalized and is in serious condition, according to health officials. Officials say that the man has not traveled to any countries impacted by coronavirus and that he has no connection to any other existing cases. Just knowing this, the virus is closely spreading around Chicago. This information may bring conclusions that at some point in time the virus will reach us.

“No one I know has been diagnosed with the virus, but we have heard that there were cases reported in our country,” Alma Castillo said.

There have been different cases around the US already with people having the virus. Sooner or later the virus will spread across the US.

“I don’t know anyone with the virus but I did see on the news that a teacher at school in Chicago tested positive for it,” Jesus Fuentes said.

There has been a case in Chicago at Loyola Medicine Center — a former student tested positive of having the virus. We feel like cases like these will increase little by little.

“I’m so scared of getting the virus. I heard it’s deadly,” Susana Chavez said.

Many people are scared of getting this virus due to the amount of people dying. The amount of people that have died already these past few months has been shocking.

Schools across the country have been cancelling their fieldtrips, and many other events due to the coronavirus.

Chicago State University will not be hosting its basketball teams due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.  Loyola University is calling students who went to study at Italy to come back home due to cases of the coronavirus spreading there. Morton East students wonder if the students coming from Durango will be checked, or if the entire visit will be cancelled.

“The students coming from Mexico won’t be checked… no cases were reported there… perhaps if next week there’s cases, plans will change, and they’d be checked,” anatomy teacher Mr. Bonner said.

Morton East High school does not have plans to close the school since there has been no cases reported from COVID-19 yet.  However, the school is taking some precautions to prevent the students from catching the virus and the school closing.  In a random survey of Morton East students, about 90.5% of the students have any type of physical contact with other students.  For example, hugging, kissing, greeting people in the hallways is  a common occurrence in the hallways; posters in the bathrooms remind students to wash their hands and practice good hygiene.  Parents of Chicago and suburban schools are advised to keep their child at home if he or she shows symptoms of the flu or has a feever.  Lastly, if a COVID19 case is identified, schools are asking parents to help identify students who had contact with these people.

Morton District 201 has taken precautions after the Coronavirus outbreak surrounding our school by following closely and in contact with local, state and federal health departments while following the correct appropriate guidance and direction.

Many Chicago school districts have started closing after the series of upsticks of reported coronavirus cases. While Morton has started taking precautions such as the Cook County Health Center located on the first floor by the child development class have been following closely to State regulations by receive hands-on-training and specific rooms, and equipment to help with the possibly infected patients. Morton District has been staying in communication with health departments to stay updated and follow-ups.

Coronavirus first patients started at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China with some link to large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread when it was reported but coronavirus is a just large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats according to While the CDC has begun distributing laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

“We receiving instructions of the procedures that we need to take as a clinic like a specific mask, a specific room it’s called isolation room,” said Site Coordinator Rocio Vargas-Garcia

People in the community are concerned about the Coronavirus due to these recent week a person was diagnose with the virus in the Chicago area. Yet there’s also those people who keep living their normal live besides having a viral virus that is spreading over the United States.

According to NBC Chicago news, they have found a total of 19 cases of Coronavirus In the state of Illinois. In the area of Chicago it led to some Chicago Public Schools to close down, in order to do maintenance after some teacher was diagnose with Coronavirus after traveling to Italy. This virus had killed at least so far 31 people and sickened nearly 1,000 which proves to increase around the country. Since the virus seems to spread out frequently schools, work place, etc. seem to be affected what is the people going to do now, without the availability to go out? In a random survey of 100 Morton East Students 84 students reported not having concerns about the virus.

“I believe they’re making a big deal of this Coronavirus there’s other problems to be more aware around the country,” Senior Jaqueline Mendoza said.

Meanwhile in the community the concerns for others will be having to close the schools or even not the availability to work due to more cases of Coronavirus spreading in Illinois.

“My main concern would be when they announce we would have to stay home for two weeks or more without going out to work or school, because how am I going to provide for my family?,” Anonymous neighbor said.

Others have gone shopping already trying to prevent food shortage or personal items. Preparing themselves for whatever can happen.

“I’m really concern of what can happened,  over the weekend I went to shop for canned food and personal items and people are fighting over stuff!,” School staff said.

The community feels aware of what’s going on but not show much concern yet they decide to be cautious with everyone and everything.

“In order to be safe is keep away from people and disinfect as much as possible around us,” Sophomore Marilyn Mendoza said.

Many students and the rest of the comminty are practing better hygene to prevent catching COVID-19.

Media outlets and doctors have been saying to always wash your hands to prevent spreading germs and bacteria, yet many people still admit to forgetting to do so. Since there is no vaccine to fully prevent from us to catching the virus, it is up to you to take extra steps to be slighlty more safe.

  • Be sure to stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean surfaces that are always being used like doorhandles, counter tops, and even your cellphones.

“I make sure to wash my hands and not touch my face more often,” security Ms. Baez said.

Some students are taking major steps to be safe.

” I see myself washing my hands way more than before and I’m staying away from most people,” said senior Alejandro Reyes.

Other students are waiting for more serious updates about the virus.

“I haven’t done much to prepare for the virus because I dont think it’s a big issue just yet,” said senior Alberto Cuaraque.

Disinfectant is available for purchase at local drug stores and home improvement stores such as Walgreens and Menards for $1.25 to $6 depending on the product. We have used disinfectant for more than 100 years. Phenol is probably the oldest known disinfectant as it was first used by Lister when it was called carbolic acid. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. In a random survey of 99 Morton East students, 45 carried some type of disinfectant around with them daily.
Some disinfectants can be expensive so some wait until they’re on sale to stock up.

“I buy my hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works when they’re on sale 3 for $5,” senior Angeli Pelayo said.

There are also ways to be sanitized outside of school.

“At home, we wash our hands but also have wipes around…FYI using hand sanitizer does not replace hand washing. Always use soap and water,” Counselor Ms. Cutean said.

But there are some cons regarding the use of disinfectants.

“I don’t like hand sanitizers because it makes my hands dry,” senior Kemelyn Quevedo said.

While some disapprove of disinfectants because of their cons, others live by a “clean code”.

“I have always been a germophobe, some days you will see me cleaning my desk with wipes. Every day after school I wash my phone case with soap and water,” senior Aracely Saldivar said.

Yet some students don’t feel the need to utilize disinfectants.

“I do not carry any disinfectants with me because I wash my hands multiple times on a daily basis,” an anonymous senior said.

In February 23-29, 272 were hospitalized for the flu.

We see the flu as if it were the  common cold, but it’s worse than we think.  Last year, in the whole U.S, 6.4 million contracted the flu virus, 55,000 of the infected were hospitalized and 2,100 died from it according to the website

“My cousin in Mexico including his family got sick as if they got hit with a plague. All of them got sick badly.  We asked the person approximately how many of them got sick and he answered ‘Around 7’,” said Adelaido Rodriguez, father of senior Julian Rodriguez.

Pets cannot catch the coronavirus because there is no evidence that animals can be affected by the coronavirus.  

Dogs and cats can catch the coronavirus but it’s not the same as if a human were to catch it there are different symptoms. From a scientific perspective there is value in quarantine pets due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. According to the U.S center for disease control imperfection the main reason the disease is spreading it’s from person to person not from person to animal. 

“What’s funny is I’m surrounded by young people and yet my biggest concern is that my dog will catch the coronavirus” –frankfother