By COREY WILLIAMS, Associated Press
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) – The continued rise in coronavirus cases in Michigan and an expected increase after Christmas and New Years have extended vacations for some students.
Classes scheduled to resume Monday in several districts have been canceled or moved online.
The Detroit Public School Community District closed the school until at least Wednesday. Ann Arbor Public Schools in Washtenaw County will switch to distance learning Wednesday through Friday.
Just north of Detroit, Oak Park Public Schools canceled classes on Monday and said apprenticeship would virtually take place for the rest of the week, while Southfield Public Schools switched to apprenticeship remotely online all week.
The Lansing School District has also switched to virtual learning for the week. Lansing teachers and staff will still be required to report to their schools.
In Pontiac, about 50 kilometers northwest of Detroit, public school lessons will be online until January 18. The measures follow the state‘s announcement of more than 25,800 new cases of the virus and 338 deaths on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Michigan has reported more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of the virus and more than 26,900 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Last week, Detroit Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti cited the city’s 36% viral infection rate in the district’s decision to shut down. Teachers, administrators and other district staff were scheduled to be tested for COVID-19 on Monday and Tuesday.
“This high infection rate will inevitably mean that a return to in-person learning on Monday, with nearly 8,000 employees and partners and nearly 50,000 students, will lead to a widespread spread of COVID involving employees, students and families at risk, as well as a staff shortage due to positive and close contact scenarios, âVitti said on the district’s website.
The district is exploring the possibility of handing out laptops to students this week and plans to announce its plans on Wednesday.
âWe just can’t go online all over the district on Mondayâ¦ because not all of our students have laptops,â he said.
Ann Arbor Schools are planning a return to class on January 10 for students and staff.
“We are using all the tools that we have implemented and refined over the past year to maintain the priority of critical learning in school for our students in …” the district said on its page Web.
Health officials have warned that new cases of the highly transmissible variant of omicron could put a strain on hospitals and staff.
In Michigan, the number of adults hospitalized with confirmed infections rose to about 3,900 on Monday, up more than 240 from five days earlier, state health officials said.
The figure had been down or stable for a few weeks from a record high of around 4,500 in mid-December.
David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan, contributed to this story.
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