The most recent Arizona Department of Health Services COVID numbers were released last night. For Pima County, although the numbers had decreased LAST week, THIS week both the number of infections and the positivity rate increased significantly (over 20%). In addition, local hospitals report they are nearing capacity, possibly forcing them to ration care.
Based on the metrics mentioned above, we will postpone our return to hybrid learning to at least February 1. For students with difficulty connecting at home to their Zoom classes, they may attend those classes on-campus in a study hall-like environment.
Last semester through our strong mitigation efforts we were able to provide a safe environment for students, faculty and staff. However, last semester the number of infections and positivity rate in the Tucson area were significantly lower than the current numbers. In fact, the current positivity rate in Pima County at 24.9% is more than twice as high as it was most of last semester. Although the school is eager for students to return to campus, we will continue to take into consideration the health of students, faculty and staff and make decisions based on this and the metrics we have available.