San Cayetano (copy)

SCVUSD students at five schools including San Cayetano Elementary School, seen here in a file photo from 2016, will not return to class as scheduled on Monday.

The Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District announced Saturday that it will keep schools closed through Friday, March 20, reversing a previous decision to resume classes as planned on Monday, March 16.

In an emailed statement that was also posted on the district's Facebook page, Superintendent David Verdudo said the decision was made “after evaluating the current information available on COVID-19,” in reference to the illness caused by the new coronavirus that has infected at least 150,000 people worldwide and killed more than 5,600.

“We will be closed to all nonessential personnel,” Verdugo said in his statement, adding that “district administration will continue to evaluate and assess the situation and will update the community throughout the week.”  

The move comes a day after SCVUSD reaffirmed its plans to resume classes on March 16 following a Thursday afternoon conference call in which state officials told Arizona’s school superintendents that they were not recommending school closures at the present time.

The Nogales Unified School District also announced after Thursday’s call that it would re-open its schools as planned on Monday. But on Saturday afternoon, Superintendent Fernando Parra said NUSD would remain closed until at least March 30.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 12 people in the state had tested positive for the virus as of Saturday morning, with the results of 50 tests still pending. That was up from nine positive cases and 24 tests still pending on Thursday morning.

The state’s positive cases included five in Pinal County, four in Maricopa, two in Pima and one in Graham County.

SCVUSD serves approximately 3,500 students at five schools in Rio Rico: Mountain View and San Cayetano elementary schools, Calabasas K-8 School, Coatimundi Middle School and Rio Rico High School. The district has 390 full-time contract employees.

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