The Arizona Department of Health Services has released the public health benchmarks that schools should follow as they transition from virtual to hybrid to mostly in-person instruction.

Please click here to access those benchmarks.

Posting on social media, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman stated:

“The public health benchmarks released today by the Arizona Department of Health Services provide our school communities much-needed clarity on the safe reopening of schools.”

“While Arizona is not ready to resume in-person or hybrid learning, we now have clear goals for identifying when its safer to return. I urge all school leaders to use these benchmarks to make safe decisions about learning in this school year.”

“View the benchmarks: https://bit.ly/ADHS-Benchmarks”

“View ADHS’ new data dashboard for schools: https://www.azdhs.gov/…/infectious-disease-epide…/index.php…”

The state categorizes COVID 19 levels for school reopenings according to three levels:

  • Minimal where all forms of instruction (in-person, hybrid, and virtual) may take place.
  • Moderate where hybrid and virtual instruction may be conducted.
  • Substantial where only virtual instruction may be offered with the exception of designated learning sites for the most vulnerable children.

To be able to provide in-person instruction, local conditions within a school’s boundaries should be:

  • Cases: a two-week decline in the number of cases or two weeks with new case rates below 100 per 100,000.
  • Percent positivity: two weeks with less than 7% positivity.
  • COVID-like Illness Syndromic Surveillance: two weeks with hospital visits due to COVID-like illness below 10%.
  • In addition, the Local Health Department may modify a specific benchmark.

As Superintendent Hoffman has indicated today and earlier this week, no local school area meets the criteria for holding hybrid or mostly in-person instruction.

Families should familiarize themselves with the benchmarks and contact their school for updates on the local health situation and the steps they have taken to ensure the safety of the returning students and educators.