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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Patagonia High School is considering extending Spring Break an extra week among other measures in response to the Coronavirus threat that has been sweeping the country.
Many schools in the US have been closing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Patagonia school district is prepared to do the same if school officials believe it is necessary.
Sources tell the Orange Street News that the school is considering the idea of temporarily closing, but is waiting on more data on the situation. In the meantime, school officials are asking members of the community to help fight the virus by sharing information.
“In an attempt to make informed decisions regarding the health and safety of our schools we are asking that families share with us if anyone that has come into contact with your child/children that has potentially been exposed to the Coronavirus The information will be confidential and is only used for health and safety planning,” read a letter from the Patagonia school district sent out to all parents on Friday.
The school also notified students that they will not be penalized for an absence from school or require a doctor’s note to return to
The Patagonia Montessori School is also taking precautions but also has no plans to suspend classes — for now.
“At this point we are not [closing the school],” Principal Jessie Beebe told the OSN.
There have been nine reported cases of the Coronavirus in Arizona, none of them have been fatal so far, and none have been in Patagonia.
“It’s like a natural disaster. There is no stopping it [the virus coming to Patagonia], all we can do is prepare and limit its impact,” Timothy Penniston, a nurse practitioner at the Patagonia Family Health Center told the Orange Street News this week.
Despite few cases of of the virus having appeared in Arizona several schools have already suspended classes. Alhambra Elementary School District, Pima Unified School District, Osborn School District, are all schools that have closed due to the Coronavirus.
It is suggested that anyone with symptoms ring the bell and wait for help at the Patagonia Health Center located 101 Taylor Ave, Patagonia