TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tuesday night, Tanque Verde Unified School District announced there are more than 40 active COVID-19 cases at Agua Caliente Elementary School (ACES).
"I think we were shocked and concerned that there were this many cases and that it was spreading so quickly on campus," said one Tanque Verde Unified School District Parent who wanted to remain anonymous.
Alongside the Pima County Health Department, the district decided to close ACES. In a letter sent from the district, parents were told that their kids will learn remotely for the next two weeks.
Some parents said they want to see the district enforce stricter mask policies in schools.
"We know that masks are encouraged at schools. Right now, a very small percentage of people are actually wearing the masks. Not only would it help protect the kids, but also to serve as an example," said a parent.
Not all parents agree. At Tuesday night's board meeting, several parent comments about COVID mitigation were submitted and read aloud.
"If people want their kids to go to school wearing a mask, that is their choice...just as it is my choice not to have my child wear one," said one parent in their submitted comment.
In addition to the closure of ACES, officials recommend that all unvaccinated staff and students quarantine until November 12.
Parents who spoke with KGUN said they will follow the school's guidance and hope to limit spread in order to get their kids back in the classroom.
"Not all of our students will be just fine if they contract COVID. Not everyone that they come into contact with will either. We feel its our responsibility as members of this community to do what we can to protect our fellow community members," said a parent.
In the coming weeks, Tanque Verde Unified School District Superintendent, Scott Hagerman, said they will take new steps to ensure safety at their schools. Parents of students ages 5-11 will be invited to a COVID vaccine clinic at Tanque Verde Pediatrics on November 13 and 14. Hagerman also said the Pima County Health Department will supply the district with take-home COVID tests for students and staff.
ACES plans to reopen for in-person learning on November 15. If a student becomes sick during this time, parents are asked to notify the school office by calling or emailing Nurse De Rose at email@example.com.
Those who have questions about the school closure are advised to call the Pima County Health Department at 520-724-7018.
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