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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Zero COVID-19 cases allow Webb to become mask-optional again

Jovana Luna
Kaitlyn Metz (‘25) and Christina Young (‘25) are studying in the Hooper Community Center during their free block, unmasked. “I am happy that we are able to unmask indoors now; it is nice to see what everyone’s faces really look like,” Kaitlyn said.

After a rocky start to the 2022-2023 school year, the spike in COVID-19 cases among members in the Webb community has finally come to a rest. As a result, the Medical Advisory Board recently made some changes in the pandemic policies at Webb. In the upcoming months, they hope that we can completely return to normalcy.  

During the mornings of October 6th and 7th, Melanie Bauman, Director of Wellness, announced to both WSC and VWS during bi-school assemblies that masking would no longer be required indoors, that testing would only be mandatory for symptomatic students, and that day students would be allowed in dorm rooms and lounges once again. Additionally, individuals no longer need to wear masks at larger events with over 100 attendees present, such as chapel and community dinner. These new changes are in response to the decline in cases among the student population in recent weeks.  

The student body has reacted positively to these new changes, which was first evident by the cheering crowds that celebrated as the new policies were announced in the Liu Chung Theater. Rows of students from all grade levels were seen standing and clapping in relief and excitement. 

“I love the new policy, I think it’s time that this happened since many Webb kids already don’t wear masks,” said Francesca Lascano (‘23).  

Like Francesca, many other community members also agree that “it’s time” these changes are finally implemented.  

“Webb has been airing on the cautious side for too long and basically every other school in the country hasn’t had a masking policy this year, so I feel like it’s a step towards normalcy,” said Ryan Weigand (‘23). 

Despite the fact that Webb is experiencing a decrease in the spread of positive cases, experts in the community have considered other factors as well, such as the spread of COVID-19 in the Los Angeles County as a whole.  

Groups like the Medical Advisory Board, the Infectious Disease Board, as well as university, college, and K-12 guidelines for COVID-19 have played a major role in decisions of concerning appropriate precautions for the Webb community to follow.  

“We have to track that we are no longer having more outbreaks or cluster infections since the county requires us to wear masks at that point,” Ms. Bauman said. “When we finally got rid of the clusters and hit zero positive tests, we knew that it was a good time to take that risk and return to a more normal state.”  

Last year, the community also experienced small periods of time in which a mask-optional policy took place. However, these regulations unfortunately lasted for only a couple of days before medical experts reevaluated the situation due to an increase in cases.  

So, how long can we expect this fall’s rules to last? While it is impossible to predict exactly how long we will remain mask-free, Ms. Bauman and the Medical Advisory Board expect to see another spike in COVID-19 cases around the months of December and January after students return from the winter break, since sicknesses tend to spread when individuals travel. 

This has been a common concern among some students who are aware that these policies are temporary and can be adjusted at any time depending on the circumstances of the community.  

“I’m worried about the possibility that COVID may surge like it did last year and we will have to return to required masking,” said Camile Casper (‘24). 

Fortunately, due to the Health Center’s thorough evaluation of the community, students seem to have a lot of trust in the recently announced policies. Students and faculty alike feel safe knowing that these rules were implemented only when authorities believed it was truly appropriate. 

Moving forward, Ms. Bauman suggests that we remain extra cautious in the upcoming months, but to also be present in the moment and enjoy the relaxed rules that we have in place now. 

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About the Contributors
Jovana Luna
Jovana Luna, Chief of Features
Whether it’s her closest friends or her fellow classmates, everyone who knows her agrees that Jovana Luna ('24) is an unforgettable presence on Webb’s campus. As a Feature editor of the Webb Canyon Chronicle, she is keen on improving the publication by expressing her creativity through multimedia endeavors on the WCC website. Beyond her academic pursuits, she possesses a musical flair and has mastered the electric guitar over five years to serenade her friends and neighbors alike with songs such as "Bohemian Rhapsody". She is an avid fan of classic rock and Taylor Swift, her favorite artist. Attending a Taylor Swift concert over the summer has only deepened Jovana’s love of her music after her amazing experience. Jovana has been an avid dancer for the entirety of her life and enjoys performing even at Webb. During the summer, she had a bustling schedule working at Coldstone Creamery, but she never forgot to walk her beloved dog, Apollo, every morning. Now that she’s back at school, Jovana's weekends are filled with quality time spent with friends as they hang out and talk together.   Song: Long Live - Taylor Swift
Leo Levitin-Shilman
Leo Levitin-Shilman, Staff Writer
This year, Leo Levitin-Shilman (‘23) is a new face on the Webb Canyon Chronicle team as a staff writer. As a writing enthusiast, it’s no surprise his favorite class was Fundamentals of Composition with Mr. Hansen, which enhanced his writing style. When Leo is not preparing to write a 20-page essay or bragging about being able to name every country in under five minutes, he is most likely hanging out with his friends or getting victory royales in Fortnite. He also loves to watch sitcoms like Seinfeld and play video games with his friends, as they bring out the best of his inner child. Leo is an avid helper in his community, taking on leadership roles as a camp counselor, peer advisor, and admission ambassador all within the last year. As his new role as a staff writer kicks off, Leo would like to contribute to the depth of the Webb Canyon Chronicle by either voicing students’ opinions or creating media content. Leo hopes his work expands people’s outlook on a variety of subjects, bringing the community closer in any way he can.    Favorite song: "Preoccupied (Demo)" by Mac DeMarco   

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