Parents and Guardians,
Thank you for your patience this morning. We were notified of a positive test of COVID in our office and a potential positive case in our transportation department. Since we were short-handed and could not cover our bus routes, we decided to shut down school for today.
I have been communicating with the Yuma County Health Department and members of the WES Board of Education. All cases of COVID and the people who were in close contact with them have been reported to the Health Department. We will follow all guidelines of the Health Department and perhaps, be even more cautious than they suggest.
As for the possible case in our Transportation Department. The Health Department stated that as long as everyone wore masks and students are seated 6 feet away from the driver, it would be highly unlikely that any virus could be transmitted to students.
Even with all this information, we want to proceed very cautiously. We have been extremely diligent on campus with mask wearing, washing hands, and social distancing. Unfortunately, even with all of our precautions, we have still had cases of COVID.
In addition, the Arizona Department of Health Services updated their information relating to COVID. As of October 25, the COVID benchmarks are:
196 cases per 100,000 up from 164/100,00 from the previous week
Positivity rate is 15.5% up from 11% the previous week
Hospitalization rate is 3.0% up from 2.3%
We are proposing that we shut down for 4 days next week, November 16 – 19. We will have the campus and buses disinfected again. We will do a deep cleaning of all classrooms and buildings. All instruction would go back to virtual instruction for the 4 days and we would still deliver lunches to all students who check in to their Zoom meeting. This would also allow 12 days to see if any other staff members have been infected or if any are exhibiting symptoms.
We are disappointed that we have to make this decision but we truly feel this is best for all students and staff members. The health and safety of all must be our priority. The school campus will be closed from November 16 – 19. All instruction will go back to online instruction for the week. We will continue to deliver meals for students who are online and in the Zoom meeting. We will reopen on Monday, November 23.
Please stay safe, wear a mask, and keep social distancing.