Posted Date: 08/09/2021
Cochise County is experiencing an increase in Covid Illnesses. Last week the county had over 90 new cases of Covid reported and the positive testing rate is now above 10%. This puts Cochise County in the High Transmission category.
We are highly recommending that all students and staff wear masks during the school day if they are not vaccinated. Vaccinated persons may want to wear masks when they are in any area that is crowded. This recommendation is for school and areas out in the community where they might come into contact with someone who is positive for Covid.
As we start the 3rd week of school, we have already had instances where students have tested positive and have had to send students home to quarantine. At this time, we have not identified a student that became ill from exposure at school but we are still in the quarantine period.
When there is a report of a positive case our contact tracing protocol is to identify students that were in close proximity to the positive person or exposed person for a minimum of 15 minutes without wearing a mask and the vaccinated status of the person that was exposed.
Students that have been vaccinated and students that wear masks generally do not have to quarantine. The exception is if the student had their mask off when they were around someone who is identified as positive or someone who was exposed.
The Arizona Health Department and the CDC are both recommending that masks be worn in schools. When the legislature voted on the budget in late June, they included an amendment that banned mask mandates by school districts. Because of this we can only recommend mask wearing. The legislature did not pass this because masks were not a good idea, they did not pass this because the threat of Covid was over, they did not pass this because they care about your child’s safety. The reason this language was included in the budget bill was to gain political favor for themselves.
Our desire is to keep our students safe and to have a minimum of disruptions to the education of our students. Your desire is to keep your child safe and healthy. Working together by wearing masks, and getting vaccinated when it is available will help us achieve our goals.
Thank you for your support.
Pumas Mask Up!