PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The head of Arizona schools wants more action from the government to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In a tweet sent on Monday afternoon, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said she wants a statewide mask mandate. She also wants seasonal residents to be quarantined and tested for the coronavirus, a limit on social gatherings, winter sports suspended and more outdoor dining. She said in the tweet that mitigation efforts are essential to protecting health care and education professionals.
The Arizona Education Association sent out a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday, echoing Hoffman's call for action. The teachers want a mask mandate for Arizona schools until the end of the school year. They also want schools that are in zip codes that have COVID-19 cases above the rate of 100 per 100,000 for two straight weeks to switch to hybrid learning and if the high rate continues for a third week, the schools move to distance learning for at least two weeks. You can read the full letter below or by clicking/tapping here.
As of Monday, most of the state already has a mask mandate.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association said on Monday it's recommending the start of the winter sports season be pushed back. There would have to be an executive board meeting to approve it. Practice for winter sports started on Nov. 9. While Hoffman didn't give more details on her recommendation about sports, it may include professional sports, too. Arizona Cardinals have let in thousands of fans on their games and the Phoenix Suns plan to start their season in December. There have been concerns that club teams from California are coming to the Phoenix area to hold tournaments.
"It concerns me. But it doesn't concern me to the extent, like the fact that we don't have a statewide face covering mandate or the fact that we don't have proactive inspections of bars and restaurants and nightclubs," said Will Humble, who is the former director of the Arizona Department of Health services.
During the weekend, health experts said they want restaurants and bars to close indoor services for at least three weeks.
Hoffman didn't say how long she wanted these restrictions enforced.