COVID-19 Update from MUSD
MARANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
November 12, 2021
Dear Marana Unified School District Staff and Families,
We are writing to provide an update on COVID-19 cases and trends in our District, as well as to provide context around COVID protocol, general health observations and suggestions on how we can best work together to keep our schools open.
Over the last few weeks, not only has our District experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases and transmission, this trend has been observed throughout our community, region and state. We have been working with leadership teams from fellow school districts throughout Southern Arizona as each of us has been experiencing similar increases in transmission within our school communities. With an increase of events, sports, and “normal” activities resuming - we are seeing COVID spread rapidly as communities reopen and people return to in-person participation.
At MUSD, we have had a few hotspots recently emerge, including at Estes Elementary School, with eight classroom closures due to outbreak (per Pima County Health Department) or widespread exposures. This is difficult for all of us during these times - for families and our own staff. Managing the school’s daily operations with many staff members out due to COVID is extremely challenging, and we are grateful for our healthy staff members who continue to step in wherever assistance is needed.
We want to emphasize that our goal is to keep schools open and have learning remain in-person. By working together, this is an obtainable goal. We want to take a moment to remind our families of the actions that will assist us with keeping our schools open, including:
- We strongly recommend that all individuals wear masks/face coverings.
- Monitor the health of your student. If you suspect your student is sick, regardless of the severity of symptoms, please keep them at home and consider getting tested for COVID-19. Please reach out to your local school health offices or administration for assistance in these instances.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and leading health experts encourage all people who are eligible to get vaccinated. With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever, and vaccines are now available for children ages 5+. Protocol for managing COVID exposures is less stringent for vaccinated individuals, who can return to school sooner (if asymptomatic) than unvaccinated students.
- Remind your student(s) of healthy habits. If your child is wearing a mask while indoors, sanitizes often, and socially distances, it minimizes the number of students who need to be excluded from school when we do get an individual who tests positive.
When the need for quarantining or isolation occurs, please work closely with your school administration and health office. These guidelines are set by the Pima County Health Department based on Arizona Revised Statute and Pima County Health Department Sanitary Measure 2021-01.
MUSD will continue our mitigation strategies. Senior administration has reminded school leadership to host events outside when possible, reduce sizes of large gatherings, spread students out, and to be vigilant as we prepare to enter the holiday season.
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we acknowledge that we will likely have to live with the virus in some capacity even beyond this school year. We will continue to depend on our collaboration with families as we ask individuals to make responsible choices in their lives that not only protect themselves but that also help protect others in our community while keeping our schools open.
- Marana Unified School District Administration