GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - In the Higley Unified School District, there are fewer than two weeks left in the school year. After Governor Ducey lifted the mask mandate in schools at the end of April, masks have been optional in HUSD schools.

Gov. Ducey lifts mask mandates for Arizona schools, allows districts to decide

However, this past week at San Tan Elementary School in Gilbert, three individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. And that's led some in the community to question why the school district has eased up on its mask policies.

Keith Clark has a 12-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old daughter, both of whom have tested positive for COVID-19. He received a letter from the Higley Unified School District on Friday saying that his daughter was in close contact with an individual who tested positive. In that letter, the school district said the quarantine date should begin this past Wednesday, and end this upcoming Friday.

That's frustrating for Clark, who wishes that he didn't have to hear this news after the quarantine was supposed to already have started. With positivity rates for those under the age of 20 holding steady at 16%, according to the Department of Health Services, Clark thinks this all could have been avoided if the Higley Unified School District had just kept the mask mandate through the end of the school year.

"Our nurse, our associate superintendent, the CDC, the Maricopa County Public Health, all of these boards and people are against the idea of removing masks right now," Clark said. "We should error on the side of what's best for the community, and just keep masks for 22 more days. And then rethink it during the summer."

Arizona's Family reached out to the Higley Unified School District for a response to these positive cases and have not heard back at this time.


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