ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona school leaders urge public to be cautious as coronavirus cases surge

Nov 11, 2020, 4:35 AM | Updated: 8:19 am

PHOENIX — Arizona school district leaders urged the public to keep its guard up against the coronavirus as the number of new cases continues to rise.

They argued reducing the coronavirus numbers is critical to keep schools open.

“While many of us have COVID fatigue, COVID has not been fatigued,” Mesa Public Schools Superintendent Andi Fourlis said at a press conference Monday. “It is still alive and well, and we have to do all that we can to keep it out of our schools.”

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ were also at the press conference Monday, asking the community to do its part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Daily COVID-19 cases have been surging since the beginning of October. Tuesday’s reported total of 3,434 new coronavirus cases was the most in a day since July 25.

The number of deaths also has been rising to levels not seen since August. The same has been occurring with the number of Arizona’s confirmed or suspected COVID-19 hospital inpatients and COVID-19 patients in ICU beds.

State health officials have said the rise is expected given more students are returning to school and businesses are reopening.

School districts across the state began welcoming students back on campus for in-person classes in September and October. Others, especially those in areas with substantial spread of COVID-19, remained closed and kept offering online learning.

Mesa Public Schools transitioned to in-person classes five days a week in October. However, one of its high schools, Mesa High School, recently went back to in-person classes two days a week due to active coronavirus cases within the school and surrounding area.

The COVID-19 dashboard from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health shows Mesa Public Schools has an overall “moderate” risk for the coronavirus. It recommends a hybrid learning model, which is a blend of virtual and on-campus instruction.

But the cases per 100,000 people is classified as “substantial.”

Fourlis said the district has directly tied some COVID-19 cases to activities outside of school, including Halloween celebrations and large sleepovers.

“We have had families that have hosted their own homecoming parties,” she added. “We’ve not done those at schools, so they’ve done them in the neighborhoods.”

The Roosevelt School District is among those that haven’t reopened schools. It has been offering online learning for all students since the beginning of the school year.

“We’re positioned to offer an in-person experience on the other side of winter break,” Roosevelt School District Superintendent Quintin Boyce said during Monday’s press conference. “But the reality is the numbers are concerning.”

The COVID-19 dashboard from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health shows there’s a “moderate” overall risk for the Roosevelt School District and hybrid learning is recommended.

However, the cases per 100,000 people in the district is classified as “substantial.” That worries Boyce. He said what complicates the situation is that many students in the district live in multi-generational households.

“I want our students back in our schools, but this is incredibly difficult,” Boyce said, adding that he understands being in school “is the best place for students but not at the expense of safety.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Many U.S. $100 bills are spread out. One Arizona lottery player recently won a $10,000 prize, while...

KTAR.com

Arizona Mega Millions player wins $10K while deadline nears for $50K Powerball ticket

One Arizona lottery player recently won a five-figure prize, while another is running out of time to claim an even larger payout.

6 hours ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former UArizona grad student sentenced to life in prison for murder of professor

A former University of Arizona graduate student was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting a hydrology professor.

7 hours ago

Jack Smith, left. (Jack Smith for Congress Photo)...

KTAR.com

Watch: Arizona Congressional District 2 Republican debate

The Arizona Congressional District 2 Republican debate occurred on June 24 but only one candidate, Jack Smith, participated.

8 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A preview of Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate

Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, but Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson consider the candidates running in that district.

10 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A look at the state of Arizona politics amid primary debates

As the Arizona primary election debates continue, Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson take a closer look at the current state of politics in the 48th state. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

11 hours ago

(Maricopa County Recorder's Office Graphic)...

KTAR.com

Watch: Maricopa County Recorder Republican primary debate

Three candidates squared off in the Maricopa County Recorder Republican primary debate on June 24.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Arizona school leaders urge public to be cautious as coronavirus cases surge