UHS Stays In-Person as UC’s Move Online


Emily Sun

UHS students will remain in school, despite the surge in COVID cases nationally.

Alex Lindenberg, Staff Writer

UHS will continue to remain open to their students for in-person learning despite seven University of California (UC) campuses deciding that they will be returning to remote learning until January 18th. UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Riverside made their announcement on December 20th because of the rise in COVID-19 cases, especially with the highly contagious Omicron strain of the virus.

It is important to remember that although the state and nation are witnessing surges, Orange County and more specifically Irvine are experiencing much lower transmission and hospitalization rates,” Assistant Principal Kris Kough said. “With that being said, the district and UNI staff feel that we are prepared to keep our school healthy and safe through our effective, multi-layered mitigation strategies.”

The benefits of in-person learning was greatly influential in UHS’s decision to remain open, amongst other reasons.

“As we have learned throughout this pandemic, the vast majority of students benefit most from being in school with their teachers and peers,” Kough said. “This has always been the most important factor in any decision about a change from in-person learning.”

With safety protocols set strictly all around campus, UHS has stated that they strive to protect all of their students and staff while allowing them to embrace the fullest extent of their education and teaching.

“It is the intent of the state of California to provide free test kits for all students and staff who need them,” Kough said. “Students and staff are still required to wear masks/face coverings while on campus, and we continue to clean and disinfect our campus following the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency guidelines for schools.”

Although administration has assured their greatest efforts in keeping UHS students safe, there are many who are still concerned.

“I’m worried about the rising COVID cases because it now seems that vaccinated people can also catch the Omicron variant and have bad side effects,” senior Micah Lee said. “While it is harder to concentrate when online, I feel that if we were to go back to online learning for a few weeks and prevent further spread, I wouldn’t mind.”

Following these concerns closely, UHS is determined to maintain the safety of all their students and staff.

“From experience, we know that if we all work together schools can and do limit the spread of COVID-19 compared to other community settings.” Kough said. “It is going to take a concerted effort to continue to keep our schools safe and we need everyone to do their part.”

By working together, the UHS administration believes that this school will be able to continue to remain in-person and united.