Editor's note: The following letter was sent to parents and guardians of students at Willcox Middle School by Superintendent Kevin Davis.

Due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases at Willcox Middle School and the subsequent increase of close contacts due to those positive cases, we have made the difficult decision to close the school to in person instruction beginning when school is out this afternoon. School will resume in person instruction on Nov. 30, 2020.

At this point in time, the other two schools will remain open for in person instruction. We will continue to monitor positive cases and close contacts at those locations. Should the need arise to alter their operations we will notify you as soon as possible.

Willcox Middle School will continue operating through a distance learning format. Teachers will be available at regular hours on a daily basis. Lessons will be provided through Google Classroom, Google Meets or other formats. Please be in communication with your student’s teacher regularly. If you have any questions, please contact the teacher or school office for information. You can also contact the district office.

We realize this may be an unpopular decision with many of you; however, we feel it appropriate based on the number of cases and close contacts among students at the school. It is more important than ever to take proper precautions against illness. Should your child have any of the signs or symptoms of Covid-19 or flu please keep them home and take appropriate action to treat them so they can return as quickly as possible to school.

Possible signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and flu include:

• Temperature above 100.4

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Loss of taste or smell

• Fatigue

• Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Other symptoms are possible; these are just a few of the common ones.

If you or your child develop symptoms or are identified as a close contact to a person with Covid-19 follow these precautions:

• Stay home except for medical care or emergencies

• Keep at least six feet away from other people

• Wear a face mask around others

• Wash hands with soap and water often

Monitoring symptoms and following isolation protocols are important for overall health in our community and even more important for limiting the spread of Covid-19 and flu, which are vital to keeping schools open to in person instruction.

This is a difficult decision to make, but our primary responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. Because of the increase in cases and number of students already at home, we feel it is the most appropriate course of action to take at the present time. Should you have questions or concerns, please contact us.