Marana, Amphi School Districts Managing COVID Cases Among Students, Staff

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Marana's Mountain View High School has seen students test positive for the coronavirus.
  • Marana's Mountain View High School has seen students test positive for the coronavirus.

As Tucson’s schools reopen for in-person classes, some are reporting an increasing number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff—many who are being asked to quarantine themselves if they were in contact with people who have tested positive.

As of Monday, the Amphitheater Unified School District has reported 20 active coronavirus cases resulting in 98 students and staff members quarantining, according to Communications Director Michelle Valenzuela.

Since opening in a hybrid model on Oct. 12, Amphitheater has reported 24 total cases reaching 10 different school sites. Valenzuela says four of those cases are no longer active.

Superintendent Todd Jaeger believes the cases are originating from off-campus events.

“While it's somewhat defeating and concerning that we've had the cases that we had, it's notable to me that they have all originated off of campus,” Jaeger said. “In other words, we don't have a single case yet that we know of that originated on campus.”

The superintendent said high COVID-19 case counts are usually related to one specific activity that occurred over a weekend. Such was the case, according to Jaeger, with eight Ironwood Ridge High School students who tested positive over the past week.

He asks students to practice proper safety protocol to avoid the virus as much outside of school as they do in the classrooms.

“The message for everyone there is that you can’t socially distance, you cannot properly wear masks, you cannot take appropriate precautions in just one part of your life, it has to be in all walks of your life,” Jaeger said. “In school, still, it does not take a lot of policing, the kids are generally very, very compliant. I guess I was hoping that was the case off of campus as well.”

At Holaway Elementary, both fifth-grade classrooms moved to entirely online instruction after two staff members reported positive COVID-19 tests on Oct. 28 and 31.

Jaeger said these larger quarantines will be “narrowly tailored” based on each school’s coronavirus outbreaks after consulting with the Pima County Health Department.

“We are always going to keep the safety of students at the forefront of our decision making. We're consulting specifically with public health officials, epidemiologists and the like to tell us what we should do,” he said. “It's all of those other events in our life that pose potential exposure risks as well, that we have to be vigilant of. We have to be vigilant in all of our interactions out there in public right now.”

Here are all the Amphitheater schools that have reported positive coronavirus cases since reopening:

Amphitheater High School

  • Two positive student cases reported on unknown date; unknown number in quarantine.

Canyon del Oro High School

  • One positive student case reported Nov. 1; unknown number in quarantine.

  • One positive student case reported Oct. 19; thirteen quarantined. This case is no longer active.

Ironwood Ridge High School

  • Five positive student cases reported Oct. 30; unknown number in quarantine.

  • One positive student case reported Oct. 22; unknown number in quarantine.

  • Two positive student cases reported on unknown date; unknown number in quarantine.

  • One positive case reported Oct. 16; thirteen quarantined. This case is no longer active.

Amphi Middle School

  • Three positive student cases reported Nov. 1; unknown number in quarantine.

La Cima Middle School

  • One positive student case reported Oct. 20; 3 quarantined. This case is no longer active.

Coronado K-8 School

  • One positive employee case reported Oct. 30; 7 employees in quarantine.

Holaway Elementary

  • Two positive employee cases reported Oct. 28 and 31. Both fifth-grade classes have moved completely online; unknown number in quarantine.

Mesa Verde Elementary

  • One positive employee case reported Oct. 14; none in quarantine. This case is no longer active.

Nash Elementary

  • Two positive student cases reported Oct. 29; none in quarantine.

Walker Elementary

  • One positive student case reported Oct. 22; two staff members in quarantine.

Marana Unified School District’s COVID-19 cases

Marana has reported 19 positive COVID-19 cases with 56 students and staff members in quarantine since they reopened in a hybrid model Oct. 19, according to Alli Benjamin, the district’s public relations and community engagement director.

Three employees and 16 students have tested positive, causing five employees and 51 students to quarantine.

The district experienced 14 more coronavirus cases and 32 more students and staff in quarantine since last Monday, but Benjamin was not able to reveal the number of cases from each school and the date they were reported since Oct. 26.

Benjamin did say the affected locations include Mountain View High School, Marana Middle School, Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary, Estes Elementary, Picture Rocks Elementary, Gladden Farms Elementary, Quail Run Elementary and Butterfield Elementary. Benjamin said a positive test from a staff member in the district’s transportation department was reported on Oct. 29.

Four students tested positive for coronavirus at Mountain View High School on Oct. 25, 24, 23 and 22, causing 23 students and employees who were potentially exposed to quarantine, Benjamin said last week.

One student was reported as testing positive at Marana Middle School on Oct. 21, but no potential contacts were established, according to Benjamin.


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