COVID cases at Arizona school send hundreds into quarantine

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Yuma Catholic instructor Claudia Dym, right, helps to students get to where they need to be before the start of a freshman orientation session Thursday morning, Aug. 6, 2020, on the first day of school in Yuma, Ariz. Freshmen were divided into groups, using four classrooms for each orientation session. (Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun via AP)

A high school in southern Arizona closed Thursday after at least three people tested positive for the coronavirus, sending hundreds into quarantine.

Combs High School in San Tan Valley will be closed until Oct. 27, school officials said. About 450 students and 20 staff members were told to quarantine while the larger school district investigates what is considered an outbreak.

The Pinal County Public Health Department ordered the school’s closure because of the number of people who are required to quarantine, not the number of positive cases, school officials said.

Those who tested positive were last on the high school campus Tuesday. Students will do virtual learning while in-person classes are on hold.

The district had planned to open in mid-August for in-person learning but pushed back the date after teachers protested over health and safety concerns.

Arizona reported 1,113 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 17 new deaths. That brings the total number of cases in the state to 228,748 and deaths to 5,789.

Most people experience mild or moderate symptoms with the coronavirus, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.