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Hoffman says Arizona schools can safely reopen with proper measures

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Wednesday schools can safely reopen if they strictly follow outlined mitigation strategies.

Updated guidance released Feb. 12 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to effectively return to in-person learning stressed the need for schools to enforce prevention measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Hoffman said about 60% of Arizona schools are already offering some form of in-person learning. More are expected to expand in-person education opportunities as case numbers decrease and vaccinations increase.

“Mitigation strategies have been proven to work. Our schools have key tools and policies that make learning safe,” Hoffman said during a press conference.

Arizona schools have a number of requirements in place for in-person learning, most notably a statewide mask mandate.

Hoffman believes the enforcement of those measures is the next step in making sure coronavirus stays out of the classroom.

In Maricopa County, there have been 258 COVID-19 outbreaks at schools resulting in 1,102 cases.

Hoffman stressed the need for teachers, students and families who live rurally or are underprivileged to follow those measures if they plan to return to school.

“In-person learning is going to look and feel different in every community and that’s OK. Local context matters,” Hoffman said.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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