March 4, 2021

Pima County Health Director 'comfortable' with school reopening

Dr. Theresa Cullen expects most teachers to have their shots by March 15.

360 students tablets File image of students using school-provided laptops in the Sunnyside Unified School District.
AZPM Staff

The head of Pima County's Health Department is not expressing any public health concerns over the governor's order to re-open school classrooms in a couple weeks.

On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered public school districts to offer in-person classroom teaching by March 15th, or when they return from spring break. The order has drawn fire from some in the education community who say it doesn't give them enough time to prepare.

But Pima County Health Director Theresa Cullen said she's not worried the move will speed up the spread of COVID-19.

"Because we don't think opening schools has a dependency on everyone being vaccinated, we feel comfortable with the decision that schools can reopen," Cullen said on a media call Thursday.

Cullen said schools have already invested a lot of effort in creating safe teaching spaces. She also said teachers are a high priority for vaccinations, and county-wide only 200 or 300 educators who want the vaccine are still waiting for it. Cullen expects they will all have had their first shot by the target date of March 15.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona