SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ — Another Valley school is temporarily closing after an outbreak of COVID-19.
JO Combs Unified School District sent a letter to parents Wednesday, saying they were informed of at least two people who had tested positive for the virus at JO Combs High School and were directed by public health officials to temporarily close the school beginning Thursday, October 15, 2020 until October 27, 2020 at the earliest.
School officials say those affected were last on site at Combs High School on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have been directed to close Combs High School by public health officials through October 27th at the earliest. Read the full update to our community here: https://t.co/MwLkYA8UgG pic.twitter.com/YH3UDr3phP— JOCombsUSD (@JOCombsUSD) October 15, 2020
The school said the decision to close was made by the Pinal County Public Health Department due to the number of staff and students required to quarantine and not the number of positive cases reported.
The Heath Department defines an outbreak as two or more positive COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period who do not share a household.
Officials say for privacy reasons, they are unable to share additional details about individual cases.
In August, the J.O. Combs community voted to start in-person learning on August 17, despite not meeting state health benchmarks.
Then, teachers called out sick. Too many, in fact. The district said they didn't have enough to staff schools that day, so they canceled all classes. They eventually returned to class on September 8.
On October 11, the Pinal County Public Health Department decided to temporarily close San Tan Foothills High School after a "cluster" of COVID-19 cases were discovered.
24-7 COVID-19 testing is being done at the school with no appointment necessary. For more information, click here.