Maricopa County’s COVID-19 map

Most of the West Valley was “in the red” on Maricopa County’s COVID-19 map, meaning substantial spread of the virus.

More Glendale classrooms closed as nearly the entire West Valley continued to be “in the red” last week.

Maricopa County keeps a color-coded COVID-19 school metrics map, with districts, cities and ZIP codes. Green means little spread of the coronavirus, yellow means moderate spread and red indicates the virus is spreading substantially.

The map is updated Thursdays. The Nov. 19 results showed nearly all of Glendale and surrounding areas with “substantial spread” of coronavirus.

Due to the rising COVID-19 cases, Glendale Elementary School District and Glendale Union High School District classrooms have closed, with both districts shifting to online learning only.

Peoria Unified School District and Deer Valley Unified School District classrooms have not closed, though schools are on fall break this week.

“The numbers for the Glendale Union High School District have hit red for the second consecutive week and are now in red in two different categories,” said a GUHSD post.

In the GUHSD area, cases per 100,000 rose sharply, from 112 to 169 as percent positivity rose from 9.5% to 11.9%. COVID-19-like illness was in the yellow but also increasing (from 4% to 5%)

After the data was released, GUHSD announced the following schools returned to virtual/remote learning on Friday, Nov. 20: 

• Apollo High School.

• Cortez High School.

• Greenway High School.

• Moon Valley High School.

• Sunnyslope High School.

• Thunderbird High School.

• Washington High School.

• Northern Academy.

• Next Step.

Glendale and Independence high schools were already in remote learning and will remain in online teaching only.

According to the district, the remote learning model for all GUHSD schools will be in effect through Dec. 17.

Food service for students will be available for pickup from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

On-site space support centers/safe space, offered in accordance with Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order, will continue to be available to students who need a safe place to go for remote learning during the day.

According to a GESD post Nov. 19, “Due to the increasingly high number of COVID-19 metrics in our communities, we will remain in the virtual learning model.”

In a Nov. 13 letter to families, Glendale Elementary School District Superintendent Cindy Segotta-Jones noted, “Data shows COVID-19 numbers have increased again in our ZIP codes. The recommended learning scenario for our district is virtual. 

“After reviewing the health metrics for Glendale Elementary School District, the governing board approved to close all sites beginning Monday, Nov. 16.”

Tolleson Union High School District, which has one school in Glendale, continued to keep classrooms closed. The Tolleson high school district has been in online-only mode the entire fall semester.