Arizona’s K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey and state Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced Monday morning.
Ducey and Hoffman extended the closures after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced on Sunday that it was extending its social distancing guidelines, meant to curb the spread of the disease, through April 30. Previously, those guidelines extended only through April 13.
The school closures were initially slated to end on April 10.
“Today’s announcement is intended to give parents and educators as much certainty as possible so they can plan and make decisions. While this isn’t the outcome any of us wanted, we are grateful for the partnership of schools around the state, who have stepped up to offer virtual and take-home learning opportunities for our students,” Ducey and Hoffman said in a joint statement.
Under legislation passed unanimously by the legislature, schools can offer online instruction to students and can deliver meals to students, among other provisions.
Many schools are continuing to provide free breakfasts and lunches to Arizona youth during the closures.
As of March 29, there were 919 COVID-19 cases in Arizona and 17 deaths. State health officials have said that there is widespread community spread of the illness.
How you can tell if you might have been impacted
Symptoms of coronavirus resemble that of the flu. So, if you’re experiencing coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, you should consider getting checked out. Call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care center or emergency room — but call the health care provider before you go so they can be prepared for your arrival. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is taking COVID-19 calls: 1-844-542-8201
How COVID-19 spreads
- Through the air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it
How to prevent spreading COVID-19
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Don’t use your hands.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
- Contain: If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. Once symptoms are gone experts recommend staying home an additional 72 hours.