PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/ CBS 5) – The Deer Valley Unified School District said a surge in COVID cases has led to staffing shortages, forcing them to move some classes online. They just don’t have enough teachers to cover those classes.

Deputy Superintendent Gary Zehrbach said its happened about a dozen times so far, mostly impacting preschool. “It’s for a short period of time. It usually ranges from two to five days and many times that includes the weekend. So that would take two days out of it,” Zehrbach said.

They said they encourage teachers who test positive to teach remotely if they feel up to it.

“Everybody is experiencing the same thing. I don't think the school district is unique for that. It is just so wide spread right now,” Chris Karkoski, a grandparent said.

Deer Valley Unified School District goes online

Deer Valley Unified School District officials say a surge in COVID cases led to staffing shortages, forcing them to move some classes online.

According to the district’s data, they had 164 COVID cases as of December 13. That’s now jumped to 505 COVID cases as of January 10.

“I know that it’s going about and everyone is catching it,” Angelica Rosario, a parent said.

Another big change, the district will no longer do contact tracing in it’s high schools. District officials say students change class so often, they simply don’t have the staff to keep up. They’ll soon stop doing it for 7th and 8th graders as well. It will continue for younger students.

They stress they are following the guidelines. “If Maricopa County Department of Public Health declares an outbreak they notify us of that and then we do communicate with our parent community and our staff community,” Zehrbach said.

The district is also working to expand testing. They said they have enough tests for staff now. They hope to expand that to some students next week.

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