Coronavirus Outbreak Causes Nationwide Emergency

School facilities closed for one week after Spring Break to combat spread of COVID-19. Teachers make lessons available online.

Abbie Cunningham, Editor in Chief

Amid concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus, the school board announced the closing of school facilities until March 20. The district will make a decision about having school next week, March 23- March 27,  on Thursday. Other events around the country have been postponed or cancelled to slow the spread of this disease. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the best way to prevent the spread of COVID- 19 is by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. People older than 60 or with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart problems or diabetes are more likely to experience serious effects from coronavirus, namely death.

The virus mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A non-infected person inhales those droplets, contracting the illness; however, the droplets are only contagious within a six- foot radius. 

“Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low,” a post from the CDC website said. “If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.”

Because of the classroom time loss, the end of school schedule could change. Graduation, planned for May 29,  may take place at a later date; prom, planned for April 4, may be postponed or cancelled; and holidays can change. All changes made to the schedule will be at the discretion of the TEA.

Seniors can pick up scholarship applications from the school Wednesday, March 18 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Principals directed teachers to make instruction available online starting tomorrow Tuesday, March 17 to help avoid any loss of time that may be required. If students need a verification of enrollment, they need to email principal Sonya Gibson at [email protected]

“This situation is rapidly changing,” Gibson said, “and we are working with the CDC, TEA, and health officials to make the best decisions for our students, staff, and community.”

All extracurricular activities have been cancelled until further notice. This includes academic UIL, One Act Play, and Robotics. Rehearsals and practices can be held at the discretion of the school district. Governor Greg Abbott took away the requirement for STAAR testing this year.

“We do not have a time frame for the longevity of the situation,” superintendent Dr. Jason Adams said. “I pray that this is short term, but fear it could be extended. Please be patient as we work to provide for FISD.”

The NBA ended their season on March 11 due to two players with confirmed coronavirus cases, being the first of all sport leagues to cancel their season as planned. March Madness, Coachella, E3, World Tour Bushfire Relief charity concert, music festivals, concerts, tours, parades, and events of similar natures were also cancelled or postponed. CDC recommends that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. set to occur for the next eight weeks.

Stores have also experienced widespread shortages of toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and canned goods due to customers panic- buying. The CDC suggest that consumers focus on buying products to sustain themselves for a two- week stay at home if needed, not overbuy unnecessary items, and use N95 masks when in public if they feel sick.

“We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” a post from the World Health Organization (WHO) website said. 

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday, a move that freed up as much as $50 billion financial resources to assist Americans affected by the outbreak. President Trump also suspended travel from European countries. There are at least 4,461 cases in the United States and at least 83 deaths, according to the latest tallies.

“We have an invisible enemy that a month ago nobody ever thought about,” President Trump said in his coronavirus briefing on March 16. “My focus is really on getting rid of this problem, this virus problem. Once we do that, everything else will fall into place.”


Stay informed and updated on the outbreak of COVID- 19 on the CDC website:

Common questions about COVID- 19 answered: