BREAKING NEWS: ICCSD Suspends Spring Break Trips Abroad in Response to COVID-19 Worries


Jack Carrell and Shoshie Hemley

Following recent developments with the COVID-19 virus (also known as the Coronavirus), all school-funded international trips have been postponed. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “most people who contract the virus will have mild symptoms and can recover on their own at home. But people over 50 and people who have heart disease, lung disease, or weakened immune systems seem to be more at risk for serious infections that could lead to pneumonia and difficulty breathing.”

The school district announced the decision through an email sent to parents whose children were set to go on the international trips. Many students who were planning to go on the trips are upset with the outcome. 

The World Health Organization reported that as of March 6, 2020, there are 1,279 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the five European countries that City High students were planning on visiting (Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain). While only one day prior, March 5, 2020, the number of confirmed cases in those five countries was 791.

As of now, there has only been a total of nine confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in those five countries. 

At this time, it remains unclear what will happen regarding the money the students and their families spent on the trip. This included hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and other travel expenses.

“Every single family that is planning on sending their child on the trip has paid thousands of dollars to go on these trips,” Zoe Meaney ‘21, another student who had planned to go on the orchestra trip, said. “We’ve paid thousands of dollars of our own money for plane tickets and hotels. Everything is already reserved and ready for us. There is no possible way to get all of that money back from all of those different organizations.”

Discussing the reasoning behind the cancellation of the trip, City High Principal John Bacon stated that City High is not the only school taking these precautions.

“I will tell you a lot of people are working very hard to try to do the right thing, making some very difficult decisions,” Bacon said. “At this time the school district is following recommendations from the Public Health Department of the state of Iowa. We’re following the same steps as institutions such as the University of Iowa, and pretty much everybody else I’m aware of.”

Principal Bacon also stated that the district is working with travel companies to be able to reschedule the trips. 

“I think the district cannot guarantee [the rescheduling] is going to happen, because they are working with private companies,” Bacon said. “However, they are going to be working very hard to try to make that happen.”