Statewide Spike of COVID-19 Leaves Many Massachusetts Towns, including Canton, in the Red Zone.

by Andrew DiBiasio

The alarm clock reads seven o’clock in the morning as the sun peeks through your window. You catch the yellow reflection of the school bus rushing down the street. The chatter of the children are interrupted by the sudden ring of a bell as pencils jingle throughout the classroom. This can only mean one thing: School is back in session.

It’s the first month of the 2020-2021 school year and the hallways of Canton High School have become populated with eager students once again, an event long overdue. However, the goal of the safe and healthy learning environment that Canton High School continuously seeks to exceed and uphold, has become threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic as cases surge throughout Massachusetts, leaving many towns in the Red Zone: Canton included. 

As of October 31 2020, Norfolk County is populated with 11,991 active cases and contains a death toll of 1,111. These numbers stagger our community and call for action, as our county contains one of the highest death percentages due to COVID-19 in Massachusetts, 10% to be exact.

Many concerns and questions reigned throughout the county and state regarding personal safety, especially throughout Halloween weekend. The City of Cambridge strongly advised all citizens to avoid high-risk Halloween activities such as “participating in traditional trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, crowded costume parties held indoors, indoor haunted houses, and hayrides”.

Although many outdoor fall activities may prove nearly impossible throughout these difficult times, the CDC strongly recommends people of all ages in red zones to engage in lower-risk activities such as “carving or decorating pumpkins, decorating your house with fall decor, a virtual scarecrow contest, or a safely distance drive-in movie night with neighbors.”

As for our local school community, it has been strongly required and advertised that students must fill out a COVID-19 Safety Screener every morning before in-school learning, as well as requiring all students to wear a mask at all times, even outside after dismissal. 

More information about our school’s COVID-19 precautions and processes can be found on https://www.cantonma.org/ and our Student Safety Screener can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSesTQKlNdwBQyM5t-x0a6OBoB4rNcKZxN6SX8EDRVbCjoQbUA/viewform. With the crisp, chilly month of November upon us, we can expect a lot more sniffles and colds throughout our community. Stay tuned for more COVID-19 updates and tips on how to have a healthy and safe Thanksgiving!