ARIZONA NEWS

Hoffman prefers distance learning in Arizona while virus spread is high

Feb 3, 2021, 12:12 PM | Updated: 12:15 pm
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)...
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

PHOENIX — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Wednesday she prefers for schools to be in distance learning mode while the state’s coronavirus spread remains substantial.

Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that community risk and infection rates remain her biggest concerns as Arizona continues to try and navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.

“We all want our schools to be able to have in-person instruction but some districts when they see high spread in their communities, they feel having in-person instruction is putting their students and teachers at risks,” Hoffman said.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last Tuesday there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission, but Hoffman said there’s more that needs to be considered in the decision-making progress.

Localized transmission rates and risks for families, especially those who don’t have ample health care resources, worry Hoffman.

She also pointed out that distance learning is recommended under the state’s COVID-19 benchmarks in all 15 counties.

The benchmarks were created by the Arizona Department of Health Services as guidance for decisions about whether to offer in-person instruction, but districts have the final say in the matter.

“Our school boards are looking at the local data and talking to the county health officials to help guide their decision,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman, in her State of Education address Monday, stressed the need for patience as vaccination numbers continue to increase, including for educators.

The Democrat also pointed to an infection rate of less than 10% as a key metric that would make her feel more comfortable for a return to in-person learning.

So far this week, the recorded positive rate statewide is 14% for 12,158 people tested.

“We know that COVID is not going to be completely eradicated and we know it’s going to take a significant amount of months to get all of our teachers and staff vaccinated, so we are continuing to provide the most updated research and guidance,” Hoffman said.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio poses for a portrait at his private office in Fountain Hi...
Associated Press

Maricopa County to pay $5M to owner whose restaurant was raided by Arpaio

Maricopa County officials approved a $5 million settlement Wednesday with a restaurant owner who claimed in a lawsuit that then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office had defamed him and violated his rights during a 2014 investigation.
7 hours ago
(Grand Canyon University photo)...
Griselda Zetino

Grand Canyon University offers new program for students with disabilities

Grand Canyon University is offering a new program meant to help students with disabilities develop social and job skills.
7 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Tucson Police Department)...
Torrence Dunham

Police group leader says Tucson vaccine mandate will increase staffing issues

Just over 50 Tucson police officers face getting a COVID-19 vaccine or a pink slip in December after the council voted Tuesday to fire unvaccinated city employees, a move a law enforcement association says would devastate services police provide.
7 hours ago
ADOT photo...
KTAR.com

US 60 to close between Superior, Miami Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The route will be closed as crews further remove the old Pinto Creek Bridge, requiring motorists to take alternate routes.
7 hours ago
(Adolfson & Peterson Construction photo)...
KTAR.com

Construction completed on new field house for Williams Field High School in Gilbert

Construction has wrapped up on a new field house for Williams Field High School sports teams, giving coaches and student-athletes at the Gilbert school updated amenities.
7 hours ago
(Gilbert Days Music Festival Photo)...
KTAR.com

New 2-day Gilbert Days Music Festival coming to East Valley park

The Gilbert Days Music Festival is set to debut at Gilbert Regional Park on Nov. 19-20.
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Hoffman prefers distance learning in Arizona while virus spread is high