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Guidelines for keeping classrooms open during COVID-19 revised by ADHS

ADHS has changed its school district recommendations to close campuses and switch to remote learning.

PHOENIX — Arizona’s health department has revised its guidance for when school districts should close classrooms as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state.

ADHS has changed its school district recommendations to close campuses and switch to remote learning based on its benchmark information.

If all three county benchmarks – cases per capita, percent positivity and COVID-like illness hospitalizations - are in the “substantial spread” category, it’s recommended that schools stop in-person learning.

RELATED: No Arizona county meets criteria for reopening classrooms as AZDHS releases benchmarks

Before ADHS revised the recommendations on Monday, the guidance was to close if just one of the benchmarks was in the most severe category for two weeks.

Coronavirus cases have been steadily rising across the state and numerous Valley schools have reported outbreaks on campus which has led to individual schools being quarantined.

RELATED: Coronavirus in Arizona on Oct. 27: 1,157 new cases, 16 new deaths reported Tuesday

Even still, many school districts remain committed to keeping their classrooms open for as long as possible.

Scottsdale Unified Superintendent Scott Menzel said his district intends to keep classrooms open even though several city zip codes reached the “substantial spread" category for cases per capita. 

Schools in the entire district would have been recommended to switch to remote learning under the previous metrics.

"I specifically asked about elementary schools and was told [ADHS] would not be recommending closing any of them at this time," he said in a message sent to parents. “We want nothing more than to be able to keep our schools open."

The guidelines still require social distancing and mask use at all times while students and faculty are on campus.