Scottsdale Unified School District hiring specialist for COVID-19 amid surge in cases

One Valley school district is being proactive as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, as the Scottsdale Unified School District is looking to hire a so-called "COVID Specialist."

Currently, SUSD is reporting a total of 190 known COVID-19 cases on its campuses so far this school year, with 63 of the confirmed cases at Chaparral High School. The district has not shut down any classrooms, for now.

"I think it’s a great idea, because it can often be really helpful to have a single point of contact when you have situations like COVID-19, where you have students who are testing positive, figuring out what to do with case investigations and contact tracing," said health expert Will Humble.

The salary ranges between $70,000 and $80,000 a year. The superintendent said:

"This new position would essentially be our ‘quarterback,' the person who would direct SUSD's efforts to ensure we are taking a consistent approach with our reporting to the county, and with our communications to families and staff."

Meanwhile, district officials are asking families that plan to travel or attend large gatherings for Thanksgiving to voluntarily quarantine their students at home for 14 days before returning to in-person schooling.

"How well the compliance is going to be followed is another matter completely," said Humble. "Besides sending the right kind of message and crossing your fingers, I don’t know what else you can do about Thanksgiving."

Arizona health officials are cautioning families to limit the number of people at Thanksgiving gatherings, wear masks, and recommend holding gatherings outdoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, they are anticipating a boost in the number of new cases in early December.