Coronavirus updates

Anna Schenkel , News Writer

Headline: COVID-19 causes chaos

History is being made all around the world.

COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, has spread to 200 countries and territories in the world as of Monday, March 30. According to Worldometer, a website that provides statistics from extensive research and data, 770,165 cases have been discovered worldwide, and out of that number, 36,938 people have died so far, while 160,243 have successfully recovered. Each country affected has taken different precautions to avoid the spread of the virus.

Although the coronavirus originated in China, a case was found in the U.S. on January 21 and quickly transmitted throughout the states. The first case was identified in Iowa on March 8. As of Monday, March 30, 424 cases have been reported throughout Iowa. Out of that number, 71 are in Linn County.

Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recommended a statewide response to this in a video statement from Reynold’s press conference on Sunday, March 15.

“Now is the time to move to the next level of response,” Reynolds said. “I am now recommending that all Iowa schools close for a period of four weeks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

In response to this, Xavier High School, along with the Cedar Rapids Community School District, made the decision to close school and all activities until Monday, April 13. Activities consisting of more than 50 people are canceled until May 10.

Xavier students had the opportunity to get essentials from their lockers to begin different online experiences. These new online learning experiences began on Wednesday, March 25, in an effort to keep students creative, connected and challenged during this global pandemic. Morning prayers also continue to be shared by the faculty and staff of Xavier at what would be the normal school start time.

Universities throughout the world have taken precautions to ensure safety for students and staff. Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa have switched to virtual classes for the rest of the semester, shut down the dorms and canceled commencement ceremonies, which normally occur in the spring. The ceremonies are now being replaced with virtual ceremonies instead.

Due to growing concerns over the virus, all international travel by U.S. citizens has been suspended, with the exception of high-ranking politicians. Along with this, most foreign exchange students have been recommended to return to their home countries at this time.

Citizens have been asked to practice social distancing when possible and try their best to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus. In a statement during a Fox News town hall on Tuesday, March 24, President Trump expressed hope of returning to normalcy soon.

“I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump said.

Officials continue to give updates and ways to help contain the virus throughout the world. Updates pertaining to Xavier can be found through this link: