Top school official recommends Arizona schools stay open amid coronavirus fears

Top school official recommends Arizona schools stay open amid coronavirus fears
The 1998 Comprehensive Health Education Act prohibited the discussion of same-sex relationships in health classes unless it was within the context of sexually-transmitted diseases. (Source: Pexels)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The head of Arizona schools is hoping for business as usual for the most part for students, teachers and staff at state schools.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said during a phone call on Thursday said she is recommending schools remain open for the time being, despite fears of the coronavirus spreading.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, March 12, no school districts in southern Arizona have cancelled classes. If that happens, KOLD News 13 will send out push alerts, post information on our Facebook page and update closure story HERE.

The University of Arizona, Pima Community College, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University are moving classes online for at least two weeks.

Hoffman added that she’s not recommending canceling athletic events either. Hoffman added the Arizona Department of Education will not be closing schools; it’ll be up to the districts to make that decision.

Some districts have already decided to close. On Thursday, Alhambra Elementary District said it’s closing schools as of Monday, March 16 until further notice. Pima Unified School District in rural southeastern Arizona closed after a report that an unspecified number of elementary school students were possibly exposed to to an unknown illness.

As of Thursday evening, there are nine cases of coronavirus in Arizona, with two of them confirmed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are three cases in Maricopa County, five in Pinal County and one in Pima County.

Other Arizona developments Thursday include the cancellation of remaining spring training games, delaying the regular season by at least two weeks and moving Sunday's Democratic presidential debate from Phoenix to Washington, D.C.

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