PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- An entire school in the Madison School District has been required to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus, the district said Friday.
School districts in the Phoenix-area are starting to alter in-person learning plans as COVID-19 cases grow in Maricopa County.
After the district consulted with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, they have required all students and staff at Madison No. 1, a middle school located at 16th Street and Missouri Avenue, to quarantine for at least 14 days, starting Monday, Oct. 26, due to a fourth positive COVID-19 case on campus. The district said the planned return date for the campus is Monday, Nov. 9, unless the county health department recommends a quarantine period of 28 days.
All students at the school will continue with online learning during the quarantine period. The district has set up its own dashboard to monitor coronavirus cases at each school.
The district just began hybrid in-person learning on Oct. 12. But parents still had the choice to keep their children home and continue distance learning for the rest of the semester.
Parents at the school tell Arizona's Family they opted to stick to online learning as opposed to in-person classes. Morgan Coppernoll's son goes to the middle school. She says she watches the news every day and she's watched COVID-19 numbers fluctuate.
"I have asthma and I've had asthma my whole life. Typically this is the time when my asthma starts affecting me the most, so I would be considered high-risk," Coppernoll said. "Actually I wasn't shocked. I knew it was going to happen. That's why I kept my son home."
Nicole Rodriguez, the director of community relations and marketing for the district, says the campus has around 950 students. About 50% learning at home and this impacts about half of them.
In an email, Rodriguez said "this decision was made out of an abundance of caution while consulting with Maricopa County Department of Health."
Albert Nells also made the decision to keep his boys at home. It's been a challenge balancing work, school and family life, but he knew it was the safest choice for his family.
"If he would have went to school and had to be quarantined, how would have that affected all of us? You know it's just too much," Nells said.
The district released a COVID-19 mitigation plan that can be found here.
The following letter is what was sent to parents Friday morning:
"October 23, 2020
Dear Madison Families,
After consulting with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, all students and staff at Madison No. 1 will need to quarantine for at least 14 days, starting Monday, October 26, due to a fourth positive COVID-19 case on campus. The planned return date for students and staff is Monday, November 9 unless the Maricopa County Department of Public Health recommends extending the quarantine period up to 28 days. All students will continue learning online at home.
It is likely that your child came into close contact with these individuals. Close contact is defined as being within 6 ft. of the individual for more than 15 minutes. We encourage you to take whatever steps you feel are necessary to ensure the safety of your child. You should watch for any symptoms, and those who develop a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, should seek medical advice from a healthcare professional.
The safety of our students, staff and community is our top priority. Please know this decision was made with great thought and support from our District administration and Governing Board who continue to monitor COVID-19 data and take guidance from the County, State and physicians.
COVID-19 is a virus that can cause no symptoms, a mild illness, or severe symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
Individuals with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms. Some symptoms include:
- Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, rash, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person. COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. The virus can also spread:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
- It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or eyes.
Practicing good hygiene is vital. Please ensure that you are following these guidelines to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Cover your mouth/nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home from school/work when you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wear face masks/coverings when in public and maintain social distancing when possible (6 feet).
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
We recommend that you and your family members monitor your health over the next 14 days. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical care and/or self-isolate at home.
Additional information is available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
Madison School District will continue to follow the guidance and expertise of local and national health officials to help protect the health of our students, employees and families. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to protect the health of our students and staff."
Another school closed for quarantine Friday afternoon. The Casa Grande Elementary School District said Cholla Elementary will be temporarily closed for 14 days after having one confirmed COVID-19 case. The district said they have had reports of several other individuals exhibiting symptoms and after consulting with the Pinal County Public Health Department, decided to close the school through Nov. 8. All other schools in the district are not impacted and will continue with in-person learning as scheduled.