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Cave Creek Unified School District revises policy for teachers exposed to COVID-19

If a teacher is potentially exposed, they’re being told they can come back to work or quarantine using their own paid time off.

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — If a student in the Cave Creek Unified School district is potentially exposed to COVID-19, they’re sent home to quarantine for two weeks. 

If a teacher is potentially exposed, they’re being told they can come back to work or quarantine using their own paid time off.

The district announced the revised policy to staff via email on Wednesday saying “An employee MAY choose to quarantine themselves if they have been exposed but their days off of the site will be pulled from their sick leave. There is no longer a 'work from home' option."

The policy is not sitting well with teachers. 12 News spoke to multiple off-camera. They say the majority of their students are currently in quarantine and since the district doesn’t have a hybrid model, they fall behind on their schoolwork.

“We’re concerned our child could become ill or could bring COVID home with her and bring it to our home,” said Amy Bataoel, whose daughter was put in quarantine after she came in contact with a student who tested positive for the deadly virus at Cactus Shadows High School.

“I just don’t feel comfortable sending her back to in-person learning at this point,” Bataoel said. “But my only other option is to remove her from the high school and put her somewhere else,“ she added.

The district is currently in the “red zone,” according to Maricopa County, and has more than a 20% positivity rate.

An email sent to parents at Cactus Shadows says six students had tested positive as of Wednesday, but Bataoel says her daughter was put in quarantine after 10 others had been infected just three days prior.

The district’s board met on Monday, but no metrics were discussed. That topic will be addressed in a meeting in two weeks.

12 News reached out to the district for comment, but we have yet to hear back.

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