SNOWFLAKE/TAYLOR — The Snowflake Unified School District (SUSD) and Navajo County Public Health Officials published a joint press release Friday, Sept. 18, to inform parents, staff and the community of six confirmed COVID-19 cases. Three of the cases were in students and the other three were in school staff.

Snowflake schools logo

For updates regarding SUSD, visit and click on Snowflake Return to School Guidelines.

The six cases are within a district that serves more than 2,500 students. Schools within the district include Taylor Elementary, Highland Primary, Snowflake Intermediate Schools, Snowflake Junior High School and Snowflake High School.

Snowflake schools began the new semester with in-person schooling and had been in session for five weeks when the cases surfaced.

“ … staff members and students have stayed home when they have been feeling sick,” stated Snowflake USD superintendent Hollis J. Merrell. “Some of them have chosen to get tested with the majority of them receiving negative tests. We thank them for being proactive and taking seriously the responsibility we each have to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

On the county side of things, public health nurses are using contact tracing to track positive cases and trace possible exposures stemming from the confirmed cases. School staff are also making contact tracing calls.

“Contact tracing is crucial in stopping the chain of infection. If you are contacted by a Public Health Nurse, please answer the call and help break the chain of infection,” a Navajo County Public Health press release stated.

Going forward, school staff are also doing contact tracing so members of the community may receive calls from Navajo County Public Health or the school district.

“We are constantly monitoring situations in our schools,” stated superintendent Merrell in the release. “We appreciate those that have kept us informed when they have a student who has symptoms or a family member who has tested positive. The more we know, the better chance we have of limiting the impact on our students and staff.”

County health officials stated that they are “still finding too many people who are going to work even when they don’t feel well” and reminds the public to stay home when feeling sick. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 “remains a concern” despite the downward trend in cases related, in part, to the resumption of in-person instruction in schools as well as businesses reopening.

At this time, there are no changes to the school district’s schedule or in-person classes.

For more information on COVID-19 case in Navajo County, visit

For updates regarding SUSD, visit and click on Snowflake Return to School Guidelines or call your child’s school site. The district office can be reached at 928-536-4156.

Reach the reporter at

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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