Winter Formal canceled due to rise in covid-19 cases

Because of an observable spike in covid-19 cases on campus following winter break, the Winter Formal event that would have replaced Homecoming has now been canceled by the Associated Student Body (ASB) in order to keep students and staff on campus safe.

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CREDIT: THE MIRROR

The highly anticipated Winter Formal has been canceled

What is happening | Due to a steep increase in covid-19 cases among students and staff members on campus, the Associated Student Body (ASB) has made the decision to cancel the upcoming Winter Formal as a precautionary measure to potentially prevent the spread of the virus.

By the numbers | The Los Angeles Unified School District Covid-19 School Report Card, which presents informative daily updates on the school’s current status of covid-19 testing results for students and staff involved in in-person instruction, reports 87 positive cases among students and staff as of Jan. 25.

The website also reveals a 6.16 percent positive test rate among students and staff. However, according to the LAUSD Covid-19 School Report Card, zero of the reported positive cases are a result of school-based transmission.

Why does it matter | Winter Formal was the official replacement for the Homecoming Dance which was initially scheduled for Oct. 2, 2021, but postponed indefinitely by the school administration in an effort to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Therefore, this is now the second time that a school dance organized by the Associated Student Body (ASB) had been postponed or canceled as a result of a rise in positive covid-19 cases on campus.

The cancellation of the Winter Formal did not come as a shock to some of its organizers.

“I was honestly not surprised,” ASB Student-Organizer Esther Kim said. “Homecoming was canceled because of a potential outbreak, and that was just a few cases. For the first weeks of the spring semester, there were tons of people who had gotten covid-19. Then, more and more people continued getting covid-19. It just made sense that Winter Formal couldn’t happen with this spike in cases.”

ASB and Senior Board advisor Mr. Jacob Ferrin is also discontent with the cancellation of the Winter Formal, sympathetic for those in ASB who were working hard to prepare for the event. 

“I am not cool with this at all and I feel even worse for the kids,” Mr. Ferrin said. “ASB poured their heart and soul into Homecoming. This one was a little better because we didn’t get that far and didn’t have high hopes like before, but it was still very hard for ASB.”

What’s next | All tickets, whether they were initially for the Homecoming Dance or Winter Formal, will be refunded. Students who would like to refund their tickets may do so starting today at the student store during nutrition and lunch.

In order to get a full refund for the amount one has previously paid, students are advised to bring a student ID and a hard copy of their ticket. These tickets will not be valid for future dances, so ASB highly encourages students to get a refund as soon as they can. 

Refunds will be offered every day until Feb. 11, which is the last day to acquire one. The student store will not accept refunds on the following days: this Friday and Feb. 2.

Ferrin has high hopes for another dance to take place around the time period between late March and early April, but considering the current state of the covid-19 cases rising, he feels that would be impossible until the cases go down. 

“If we put a bunch of teenagers together in a hot, sweaty mess, we can’t guarantee that they’ll wear their masks at all,” he said, in regards to the possibility of a dance.

As of now, Senior Board is focused on preparing for the senior prom taking place in Ventura County. The probability of the event happening, as well as the release of the date, is not only dependent on Ventura County standards but on covid-19 cases as well.

What they’re saying | “If transmissions go down, we can have a dance,” Mr. Ferrin said. “But in order for transmissions to go down, the community has to take covid-19 seriously and they’re not. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of common sense in the community right now about masking or vaccination. If we can’t guarantee people’s safety, we can’t have a dance.”

“I really encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted so that we can reduce the spread and impact of covid-19, because our biggest priority is making sure that people stay safe at these dances,” ASB Dance Commissioner Anya Shyani said. “I also think that, even though we don’t have a big Winter Formal, ASB is working really hard to make sure that students receive a lot of opportunities to continue being a part of the school community and build their high school memories.”