Will a virtual internship (because of COVID-19) look worse to colleges than an in-person internship?
Summer research internship.
Currently a junior in high school, I may not be 100% correct but it shouldn't hurt your application. Internships give you experience and even if you have doubts, you do NOT have to put it into your application. Just be sure to apply for internships that are related to what you like to do and your intended major or else it would make colleges think you are doing it just for applications, and that might give them the red flag.
An in-person internship would look slightly better because it would give you more experience than a virtual internship can, but an internship is still an internship. A virtual internship would look still look much better than no internship, especially if it's related to your desired major/field and if you're able to describe, write, and talk about it well (maybe in one of your essays, for example?). If you're deciding between doing or not doing the virtual internship, I personally think you should do it (as long as you're genuinely interested in the subject) because it will give you experience and perspective in your chosen field. If you're deciding between doing a virtual versus in-person internship, that's really something you should weigh based on the covid situation in your area and your personal risk factors. However, if you do a virtual internship instead of an in-person internship due to covid, you can explain that in your additional information section, and I'm sure colleges will understand. That should negate the difference between an in-person internship and a virtual one, again, as long as you're able to talk about it effectively and express how much you learned. Hope this helped!