DUSD to shutdown for 14 days due to COVID-19

DOUGLAS — Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases within the Douglas Unified School District, superintendent Ana Samaniego announced Monday that beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17, all DUSD staff will be working remotely from home for the next 14 days.

“All operations will still run, but DUSD offices and schools will be closed to (the) public,” Samaniego said in an email. “All students will continue online learning. We have been taking guidance from Cochise County Health Department and our Food Service Department and Safe Learning Spaces would have to be closed for the 14 days along with many staff who are out due to mandatory 14 day quarantine; therefore, everyone will work from home for those dates mentioned above.”

COVID-19 numbers released Tuesday by the Cochise County Health Department show there are 595 active cases in Cochise County, 257 of which are in the Douglas area.

DUSD officials reported last week there was just one active case in the district. Monday’s numbers indicated there are now 10 out of 1,163 students and staff.

“As your superintendent there is no responsibility I take more seriously than maintaining the health, well-being, and safety of all of our students and employees,” Samaniego said in a letter that was sent home to parents and post on the DUSD website late Monday.

“Throughout this pandemic (the) DUSD Governing Board and I have been collaborating and taking guidance from Cochise County Health Department before any decision is ever made. As you may already know COVID-19 cases are on the rise here in Douglas and unfortunately DUSD continues to see a spike in positive cases amongst our employees.”

“Due to the overwhelming concern we have and the many positive cases causing outbreaks in some sites, I have made the decision to have all of DUSD staff work remotely from home for the next 14 days, starting Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, through Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.

“All maintenance and operations of our district will continue as normal. All students will continue their online instruction from home, including students who normally attend the learning spaces at every school. Due to all the staff working from home and the food service department not being able to provide meals to students, the learning spaces will temporarily be closed for the 14 days.”

“All school staff including teachers, support staff, and school administrators will continue their duties and responsibilities from home. Parents and students may continue to communicate with teachers and school administrators via school emails and school office numbers.”

Samaniego encouraged everyone to continue to stay safe, wear masks, and social distance whenever possible.

“All staff and safe learning space students will return to sites on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020,” the letter concludes.

DUSD originally was scheduled to be off Nov. 26-27 for Thanksgiving.