TOMBSTONE — An outbreak of COVID-19 at Tombstone High School has resulted in the closure of all three Tombstone Unified School District campuses to in-person learning as of Tuesday morning.

“We are transitioning to fully remote learning starting tomorrow morning, December 15th,” TUSD Superintendent Robert Devere said Monday. “We will be providing two safe learning environments for those who need it. Walter J. Meyer and Huachuca City schools will have safe learning spaces available where students can come in and work remotely on lessons under adult supervision.”

Para-educators will be supervising the safe learning locations while teachers work remotely with their students, with some teachers working in their classrooms and others from home. The school district will not be providing transportation to the safe learning sites.

“We do not have outbreaks at Walter J. Meyer or Huachuca City schools, but we are experiencing extremely high absentee rates at both schools,” Devere said. “As a precaution, we are going fully remote at those two schools as well as the high school.”

Devere noted that transitioning into the remote format is something the district has been preparing for, knowing it could be a possibility.

“This decision was made in conjunction with the Cochise County Health Department, based on the outbreak at the high school, along with the abnormally high absence rates at the two other campuses,” Devere said.

“We are in a position to provide the best remote education possible for our kids,” he added.

A letter from all three schools was emailed to parents Monday afternoon to inform them of the district’s decision.

“This remote-only learning will take place until the end of the first semester, which is December 18th,” Devere said.

While the school district is planning to reopen its campuses for in-person learning on Jan. 4, that date will depend on data provided by the county and state.

“If we’re not able to reopen, the remote learning format will continue from that date forward until further notice,” Devere said.

Additional information regarding Tombstone High School’s final exam schedules and safe learning location spaces will be provided. All school and district offices will remain locked and will not be open to visitors during this time.

Meal packets can picked up at Walter J. Meyer from 8:15 to 9 a.m. and Huachuca City School from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. Students of essential workers and those that need a safe environment for which to learn can be dropped off at the Walter J. Meyer gym at 7:30 a.m. These students need to be picked up by 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and by noon on Thursday and Friday. Meals will be provided.

Those wanting more information can call their school sites: Tombstone High School, 520-457-2214; Walter J. Meyer School, 520-457-3371, or Huachuca City School, 520-456-9842. The District Office is 520-457-2217.