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10 Arizona counties meet benchmarks for limited in-person learning


Yuma County still working to reach health requirements

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona state health officials announced Thursday two more counties, are now eligible to resume some types of in-person learning.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) says ten of Arizona's 15 counties have lowered their coronavirus case statistics enough to move to a hybrid learning model. That means schools can provide a combination on in-person and online learning. Counties now approved for the hybrid model include:

  • Apache
  • Cochise
  • Coconino
  • Maricopa
  • Navajo
  • Pima
  • Pinal 
  • Yavapai

Only two counties, Greenlee and La Paz, have met the benchmarks necessary to resume full-time in-person instruction.

Yuma, Santa Cruz, Gila, Mojave, and Graham counties are still working towards that goal.

Yuma County has passed two of the benchmarks for reopening schools. Active cases have declined enough to meet the threshold, as has the percentage of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

However, Yuma still needs to stay below a 7% positivity week for a solid two weeks before kids can head back to class.

Achieving all the benchmarks doesn't mean the county's school will automatically open. It will be up to school and health officials to make the final call.

“The primary goal is to keep our children, staff, and their families safe and healthy throughout this school year,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “I urge every member of Arizona’s school communities to proceed with caution and refer to the Roadmap for Reopening Schools for guidance as we begin the return to in-person learning across our state.”

Once school do open, schools, students and staff will have to abide by stringent health guidelines including:

  • The use of masks during hybrid in-person instruction for all staff and students over 5-years-old
  • Physical distancing of students
  • Students will remain in the same classroom, with the same classmates, and the same teacher, for the entire day
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
  • Closing of communal spaces
  • Routine symptom screening

ADHS has partnered with Hanes to provide every Arizona student and staff member with access to five free face masks. To sign up for your free masks, just go to the ADHS website and sign up.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at

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Brandon Mejia

Brandon Mejia joins the news team as the evening anchor for KSWT. You can catch him weeknight at 6 and 10 p.m.

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