Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk


Should the northern Harford County area have its own 'snow zone' for inclement weather days?

  • YES (92%, 60 Votes)
  • NO (8%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

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New strain of Covid-19 detected;

Case numbers rising

Recently, there has been a new version of Covid-19 called BA.2.86. There have been multiple cases detected in the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Denmark, and Israel. 

     According to CBS News, “officials say they remain well-equipped to deal with the strain if it continues to spread.”

      The new variant began to raise concerns earlier this month when “variant trackers noticed a handful of new sequences showing up in global virus databases with a large number of genetic changes different from other circulating strains,” says CBS News.

     The BA.2.86 has been found to have 36 mutations. According to CBS News, these “mutations include changes at key parts of the virus that could help the variant dodge the body’s immune defenses from prior infections or vaccinations.”

     “BA.2.86 is a newly designated variant of Omicron, which itself is a variant of SARCS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” according to Yale Medicine. 

     “The virus that caused Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is not going away any time soon. There is definitely an “uptick” of cases right now, but as opposed to the past 3 years, there is a higher level of immunity in the community, either by those who received the vaccine, have gotten the booster or who have some “natural immunity” from having had the disease,” states nurse Melissa Wilson. 

     From Yale Medicine, Dr. Scott Roberts states that because the new variant “has so many mutations that make it different from other coronavirus strains, many medical experts wonder if it has the potential to bypass immune defenses both from natural infection and prior vaccination.”

     Health teacher Mrs. Jacquelyn Williams says that “the big picture is that it is continuing to change and is continuing to modify itself and morph itself which means that it is continuing to survive, despite what we are trying to do to make it so it does not [keep continuing to survive].”

     According to Roberts, “‘The big question is if BA.2.86 will have the same exponential growth that Omicron did-in terms of case numbers-or if it will die out, which is certainly what everyone wants.’”

     Williams also comments that she thinks that “enough people are vaccinated that it is going to keep [the number of cases] down, and [she] thinks that [people] are more educated and more serious about [the new variant] to know that [they] do have symptoms.”

     Wilson comments that “there is a recently approved vaccine for the new strain. The choice to receive the vaccine is a personal one and can be based on a variety of factors- age, health status, exposure risk, health status of family members living at home, etc. My suggestion for anyone is to discuss the vaccine with their healthcare provider and make a decision based on what is best for that individual.”

    “The good news is that, thanks to the greater degree of herd immunity from infection and vaccination, the world is not as vulnerable to serve illness or infection from the coronavirus as it was in 2020,” states Roberts.


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