Coronavirus Forces School Closings, Self Isolation, and Nationwide Chaos


By The Journalism Class

As the Coronavirus death toll nears 6,500 with more than 169,000 cases reported worldwide, Wayne’s school district officials have announced that schools will use two emergency snow days and then run online classes from Thursday March 18th, a day four, until spring break ends on April 13th. 

This decision was not made lightly and was based on the Centers for Disease Control guidance regarding Coronavirus and concern for our students, staff and community members noting that most of the schools in our area are also closing,” said Superintendent Mark Toback in a letter to parents and the school community. 

 “We are moving ahead after having submitted a distance learning plan to the New Jersey Department of Education and after conferring with our local health officials,” Toback added.

With over 3,774 cases in the United States throughout 49 states, many schools with high cases in their area have been shut down until further notice. In Washington state alone, there are 769 cases reported and 68 deaths.

New Jersey recorded its first confirmed case on March 3rd in Bergen County. The second confirmed case was tested at Hackensack Medical Center where they are currently being treated.  There are reportedly a total of 178 cases in New Jersey as of Monday, March 16.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who issued a state of emergency in New Jersey on March 9th, imposed a statewide in addition to school closings.  Bars, gyms and eat-in restaurants were ordered to shut down. Atlantic City casinos, racetracks, movie theaters and other entertainment venues were also forced to close their doors.

Hospitals around the country have placed strict rules on incoming patients and many have told locals if they are not very sick try or showing symptoms of the virus to go to their primary doctor or Urgent Care.

Health officials warn that people need to take extra precautions in terms of hygiene including hand washing, staying about six feet away from people, and avoiding big crowds. 

Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control encouraged all Americans to practice social distancing, the perceived or desired degree of remoteness between a member of one social group and the members of another, as evidenced in the level of intimacy tolerated between them. 

“My tip for everyone is to rely on information from reputable sites not from word of mouth,” said Judy Daly, WHHS school nurse. “Be up to date with information but be careful where you get the information from. Some sites won’t tell the truth and will blow the story out of proportion to strike fear into people. Cough and sneeze in your elbow, wash your hands regularly and use the same precautions that you should already be doing due to the flu season,” she added.

 Due to the virus, not only school will be canceled. Sports have all been canceled because of the outbreak to try and stop people interacting with each other. National Sports is especially victim to the virus because of the huge masses of people that go to watch games. 

The PGA Tour for golf has postponed or canceled many of its tournaments until the week of Masters which is April ninth to 12. The Premier League for soccer in Europe and mostly England has suspended all games until April second and third and in others like the U.S. League, MLS, all games and friendly matches in March and April have been canceled. Tournaments for basketball like the Big East have been canceled for at least a month. Especially after having one of the Men’s basketball players test positive for the virus. Major League Baseball also postponed the opening for the regular season as well.  

All spring sports that just opened for Hills also are canceled, stopping the schedule until after the break is over. 

Many hotlines have been established. With questions or concerns call 201-225-7000 (Bergan County), 800-962-1253, or 1-800-222-1222 (State Hotlines). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent or CDC is the only reliable source with all the information needed. 

To know more about the Coronavirus visit