New COVID strains


Story by Elena Rivera, Copy Editor

Amid the rising death toll from the COVID-19 Pandemic, new variants of the COVID-19 virus have been found in the United Kingdom and South Africa. The United Kingdom variant has since spread to the United States. These variants are thought to be more contagious than the original strain of the virus seen sweeping across the globe.

 The newly distributed vaccine is also thought to be slightly less effective against the new variant, although studies are limited, placing pressure on the Biden administration to find ways to counteract the effects of the variant. 

President Biden has chosen to reinstate travel restrictions to reduce the spread of these variants to the United States. Restricted countries include Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as many other European countries. This ban shows how President Biden plans to reinstate some of the rollbacks that the Trump Administration made before he left office.

The U.K. variant can currently be found in twenty-two states, Florida included. As of now, Florida leads the country in most cases of the variant. This may be due to Governor DeSantis’ relaxed approach to COVID-19 restrictions. DeSantis was strictly opposed to a statewide mask mandate prior to President Biden’s federal one. DeSantis has also pushed for more Florida schools to reopen amidst the rising number of Florida COVID-19 cases, and has said he will not shut down the state’s large tourism industry. 

“Florida has a large population, which is a big factor in why it has the most cases of the variant,” said senior Nestor Rivera. “ However, I do not think that DeSantis has the best approach to restrictions, especially when it comes to masks. Masks definitely help to reduce risk of exposure to others.”

As the second semester is now underway, more students have returned back to brick and mortar learning. With this new, more infectious variant in Florida, in-school restrictions will have to be strictly enforced, even as more students are ready to funnel back into the classroom. 

Currently, Boca High has the largest number of student cases in Palm Beach County, which is largely due to our school’s large population when compared to other schools. In order to counteract this, the administration is working hard in their enforcement of social distancing and mask measures. 

“I think that Boca High will definitely see a large increase within their cases, especially considering how [the number of students on campus has doubled], it’s inevitable with an evolving virus and improper safety regulations,” said senior Alyssa Diaz. “I know some students need to be in person and I respect everyone making the decision best for them, I just think our school needs to do a better job at keeping those who need to be in person safe through the better enforcement of social distancing and masks so that they can learn without as much fear.”

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