Updated Maricopa County dashboard shows 90% of zip codes are in red category

Posted at 2:36 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 20:14:26-05

Maricopa County's updated school dashboard shows there's substantial COVID-19 spread all over the county, with 90% of the zip codes in the red category.

Thursday's updated map shows most districts are now in the substantial spread category and should be preparing to return to virtual learning.

ABC15's Data Analyst Garrett Archer has been following the week over week increase in per capita rates in Maricopa County.

"You'll see that 79% of elementary school districts have seen a week over week increase, 100% --so every high school district has seen a week over week increase and about 85% of the unified school district has seen a week over week increase in per capita cases," he said.

Earlier in the pandemic when we peaked in July, Archer said there was community spread but it was concentrated in certain areas, like in southwest Phoenix and Glendale.

"Now, it's a completely different scenario, we have about equal spread all over the county," said Archer.

The group Save Our Schools Arizona Thursday hosted a panel made of doctors, a nurse, a school board member, and other school leaders.

"We're asking every concerned Arizona parent, grandparent, husband, wife, student, neighbor to do your part, including contacting the governor and your local school board and respectfully asking and demanding that lives are protected--lives of teachers, staff, family students by returning to virtual learning in every instance possible," said Dawn Penich-Thacker with Save Our Schools Arizona.

Robert Quinones from the Casa Grande Elementary School District in Pinal County said all but four of their 13 sites have had closures due to COVID-19.

"When we have a circumstance that involves other individuals getting sick or unable to respond to the work situation, we end up in these unique situations where we don't have the capacity logistically to operate schools," said Quinones.

"This is unheard of in terms of the stress that it's putting on the healthcare system. And at some point in time, I wonder if at some point does the hospital, the ER say 'we just can't take it anymore, we have to close the doors,'" said Dr. Isaac Martinez, CIGNA senior medical director for clinical performance and quality.

The county dashboard uses case information within district boundaries, so those numbers don't show if there's spread within a specific school. Many districts have their own COVID-19 dashboards where people can track case numbers in individual schools.