PHOENIX — State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman was the latest Arizona leader to call for more COVID-19 mitigation strategies on Thursday, just one day after a group of mayors and doctors sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey demanding additional actions to help curb the spread in our state.
@AZDHS benchmarks now recommend distance learning for 8 counties. This will get worse before it gets better. It's crucial that more mitigation strategies are enacted & enforced so schools across AZ can offer safe in-person learning after winter break. https://t.co/bNKLS2mKJN— Kathy Hoffman (@Supt_Hoffman) December 17, 2020
In a tweet Thursday afternoon, Hoffman referenced the latest update to the Arizona Department of Health Services' school benchmarks, noting distance learning is now recommended for eight counties.
Of the ten largest school districts in AZ, nine are in Maricopa County.— Steve Irvin (@Steve_Irvin) December 17, 2020
All 9 are in the red for all 3 metrics.
State guidelines recommend all 9 should be in "virtual learning with on-site support."
Just one (PHX Union) is fully remote.
"The high spread of #COVID19 will adversely affect communities that were already most impacted by the digital divide," Hoffman went on to say in her social posts. "While @azedschools is working tirelessly to find tech solutions for families, our efforts will fall further behind if this virus continues to spread unabated."
Hoffman's calls for stricter COVID-19 mitigation measures comes the day after Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, and a dozen other mayors, lawmakers and doctors demanded that Gov. Ducey impose a statewide mask mandate and push for federal pandemic relief.
When asked during a Wednesday press briefing about the calls for increased mitigation efforts, Gov. Ducey said, "We're doing everything that we can."
Hoffman's Thursday remarks on Twitter come one month after she initially put a call out to Gov. Ducey for more action as well.
"I think we need to be doing more as a state, because I am just absolutely terrified of what the future might hold for Arizona if we continue on this path," Hoffman told ABC15's Danielle Lerner in the Nov. 16 interview.