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One Of The Three School Return Benchmarks Goes Into “Moderate” This Week In Flagstaff

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There is some good news on the COVID-19 front when it comes to schools. Coconino County Health Officials say one of the three benchmarks is now down into the “yellow” or the moderate category. Hospital visits for COVID-like illnesses among Coconino County residents went from 15.7-percent January 17th to 8.5-percent on January 24th. State health officials recommend all three benchmarks be in “minimal” or green for two straight weeks in order to be in in-person learning. Percent positive fell from 9.7-percent to 8.6-percent, with five-percent the benchmark for yellow. Cases per 100-thousand is still high at 285.2, which is up from 284.2 last week. The Flagstaff Unified School District Governing Board passed a targeted return to in-person learning this week. The plan to return to in-person schooling would allow staff and students in the district to return to school in stages beginning with teachers on March 8th, if COVID-19 metrics are met. Students would return in one of two grade-based cohorts over two weeks following the district’s Spring Break, but families would still have the option of remote learning, if needed or preferred. Further discussion on the plan will take place on February 23rd after district officials look at new guidelines the CDC is expected to release.