The Maricopa County Department of Public Health has ordered Higley High School’s football teams to quarantine for the next 10 days because of multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19, Higley USD announced Aug. 9.

The varsity and junior varsity teams’ players are not allowed in class or at school-related activities on the teams during the duration of the quarantine period, which ends Aug. 17.

However, players who can show proof of vaccination, meet the quarantine exception guidelines and exhibit no symptoms do not have to quarantine, according to the district.

District spokesperson Teresa Joseph said the district could not disclose how many players had tested positive, citing privacy concerns.

District officials said the circumstances of the outbreak do not warrant a schoolwide closure, but members of the school’s community were notified by an outbreak communication sent from the district.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard, updated the morning of Aug. 9, showed 15 confirmed active cases on Higley High’s campus, representing 0.63% of the campus population.

However, the letter sent to school community members indicated the school received 20 confirmed cases Aug. 9.

In a statement, the district reiterated its top priority was the health and safety of the Higley High community and thus urged students and staff to stay home if not feeling well and to wear face coverings at school to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“As we move forward and continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our district leadership team, in conjunction with Maricopa County Department of Public Health, will continue to monitor our HUSD COVID-19 dashboard,” the statement read. “If we see increased and sustained positive cases, we will work with site administration to implement additional mitigation strategies to help reduce the spread on that campus.”

Higley football coach Ed Zubey referred comment to the district, but said the teams were still anticipating starting the season on time.

The Higley High junior varsity team is scheduled to open its season Sept. 2 and the varsity team Sept. 3, both against Williams Field High School, about two weeks after the quarantine period expires.