Dear Leman Families,
I want to start by saying thank you for your continued patience, support and encouragement to the start of our 2020-2021 school year. We know many of you are rather frustrated to the start of the new school year, and for that, we are sincerely sorry. We do not want to cause frustration. The challenges are never ending as we look to partner with you in the education of your scholar(s). The newly released benchmarks from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) for Safely Returning to In-Person Instruction recommends schools consider county-specific public health benchmarks that provide recent information about community transmission.
The guidelines and benchmarks include: coming around new cases, diagnostic test percent positivity and looking at hospital visits due to COVID-like illness. ADHS recommends county-specific public health benchmarks to be in the moderate or minimal transmission category in all three benchmarks for two weeks. For more detailed information, please refer to: AZDHS.gov. (COVID-19 School Benchmarks)
Cochise County checks off as moderate to minimal for both New Cases and COVID-like illness for the last two weeks, with percent positivity at around 9%, which as reported is down from above 20% in late June. Additionally, Arizona’s estimated RO (pronounced “R Naught”) has been trending downward, with a value of .84 as of August 6, 2020. The RO measures the average number of people an infected person infects. Infections slow when the RO is below 1.
Without question, the recent data is rather positive, especially when one also takes into consideration that available evidence indicates that children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. Many also attribute that the number of new cases for COVID-19 started to decrease shortly after the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a mask-wearing ordinance on June 19.
At Leman Academy of Excellence, we are requiring that all scholars and staff wear a mask while at school on school campus. I would also like to request that you please keep your scholar home if he/she should show any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to leaving for school. We have provided training for our faculty and staff regarding what symptoms to look for related to COVID-19, and have also asked staff to self-monitor at home prior to leaving for school. Again, please refer to AZDHS.gov > preparedness for Responding to COVID-19 in Schools.