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FUSD Schools To Return To Remote Learning In January, But Maybe Not For Long

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Students and staff at Flagstaff Unified School District schools will continue remote learning at the start of the next semester, but the district is working on ways to get students back into the classroom soon. Superintendent Michael Penca told the district’s governing board Tuesday that the district plans to begin its own saliva testing efforts in January, with help from Arizona State University along with state health and county officials. Testing sites will be set up at each FUSD school and the tests will be free. Penca told the board, testing could be similar to what NAU does. “They randomly select staff and students to test on a weekly basis” to find asymptomatic people. He adds with the tests, “we can do contact tracing and any direct contacts can be quarantined, so it’s a great strategy for reducing the spread within your school community.” Penca also said FUSD will take part in the COVID-19 wastewater testing program with Northern Arizona University. The board will revisit the current situation regarding COVID-19 at its meeting on January 15th. As of last Friday, all three school benchmarks were in the red category, which means substantial community spread.