By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Pinal Central
State health officials laid out a three-part test Thursday for when they say it is safe for schools to reopen, in full or in part. In essence, the guidelines say it will be safe to again have kids in the classroom when:
Fewer than 7 percent of area residents tested for COVID-19 test positive for the virus;
The number of people showing up at local hospitals with COVID-like symptoms is less than 10 percent of all visits;
A rate of infection drops below 100 cases for every 100,000 residents.
Exceeding even one of those, according to state Health Director Cara Christ, indicates that schools should remain shuttered.
But even that last category comes with an escape clause of sorts. Schools could still meet that specific benchmark if there has been a decline in the weekly average in the number of cases for two consecutive weeks, even if the infection rate tops 100 per 100,000.
Arizona is not there yet.
“The state’s taking a wise approach to guidance for when schools should go back. If our numbers keep dropping it looks like most of our kids whose families chose to send them back to school will have an open school to attend.” Jordan Rose, Founder, CEO Rose Law Group