Schools closed through April 10, Gov. Ducey says




    Photo courtesy U.S. Army

    Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona School’s Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced Friday that schools in the state will remain closed for an additional two weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    “Today we are announcing an additional two-week extension of school closures until Friday, April 10,” Ducey said in a video alongside Hoffman that was posted to Twitter. “We want you to know that our goal is to get kids safely back in the classroom as soon as possible while providing parents and educators certainty so they can continue to plan and make decisions.”

    Classes were originally supposed to resume at the end of the month.

    The announcement comes after the Arizona House and Senate approved a bill that would allow schools flexibility in dealing with the closures. 

    House Bill 2910 by Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, passed both chambers unanimously and allows schools to undertake certain measures if the closures are not lifted by March 29. The measures include allowing schools to offer alternative means of education via electronic means, gives bus drivers the authority to deliver meals to students at home and a litany of other provisions

    The bill also makes sure teachers and other education-related staff continue to be paid during the closures.

    “I look forward to signing the bill,” Ducey said in the video. 

    The bill also cancels the statewide assessment tests that would normally be happening in the coming weeks for children across the state. 

    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 the coronavirus 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 the coronavirus

    • 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. 

     

    Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
    Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.