TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In the past week, the Tucson Unified School District [family] has experienced the devastating effects of the coronavirus.
“The week of January 25th through the 29th was not kind to TUSD,” said Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. In that week the district lost four employees; two of them were on the same day, Jan. 26.
“A very stark reminder of the toll that’s being exacted by this insidious virus,” he mentioned.
Trujillo said last week brought the district’s death toll to eight since the start of the pandemic. The workers who contracted the virus got it from outside school grounds, according to TUSD.
And because of the high community transmission rate, Trujillo said it’s compromising the district’s ability to successfully open on a consistent basis.
“If we can get most of our employees to get that first shot and walk into our campuses with at least 60 to 70 percent immunity, we will have a good shot on drastically reducing the amount of people out of work who are in quarantine,” he said. “We are looking at hospital capacity, virus transmission, case positivity rate metrics and the extent in which our employees have at least have the opportunity to receive the first vaccine of the two doses.”
As of now, there is no definitive set date for kids to return to school. However, the district will soon meet to discuss potential dates and different learning methods that make parents and students as comfortable as possible.
Trujillo tells KOLD News 13 that if and when the district returns to in-person school, families who do not feel safe returning will have the choice to stay remote.
In the next TUSD meeting on Feb. 9, TUSD will honor the teachers and staff that lost their battle to COVID-19.