Maricopa High School office

MARICOPA — Maricopa High School has put a hold on in-person learning following a COVID-19 outbreak, with the spread happening as quickly as the day after fall break ended Oct. 14.

The decision by Maricopa Unified School District came after Superintendent Tracey Lopeman reported in a board meeting last week that 233 students and 12 staff members were in quarantine at the high school. There have been six publicly announced COVID cases at the high school, three of which occurred Oct. 28.

Lopeman wrote in her email to parents that MHS will close from Nov. 3 to Nov. 13 and will reopen Monday Nov. 16.

“Due to the current number of quarantined staff, we are unable to provide adequate adult supervision to support in-person learning,” wrote Lopeman in a press release posted to social media Monday.

Parents were advised that students who were not quarantined due to exposure can continue to participate in extracurricular and athletic activities. Grab and go meals will also be available for pick up between 10:30 a.m. and noon at MHS during this closure.

This means MHS sporting events, such as Friday night's football game, will be played as scheduled. However, because the Rams' opponents, Horizon High School, cannot play due to COVID-19, they will instead be traveling to Marana on Friday.

Teachers will be providing additional information regarding access to online instruction.

On Monday morning Mishell Terry, spokesperson for MUSD, also confirmed two students with positive COVID tests at Desert Wind Middle School, with the number of teachers in quarantine rising to seven.

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Katie Sawyer covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at ksawyer@pinalcentral.com.