Huron Valley Schools district shifting to remote learning for at least a week

Superintendent cites county’s COVID outbreak risk level

(Photo by Klaus Pressberger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images) (Klaus Pressberger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

The Huron Valley Schools district is shifting to remote learning for at least a week after Oakland County’s coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak risk level was increased last week.

This is according to a release from the district on Saturday explaining the risk level and cases at the high school level is contributing to the district’s decision to stop in-person learning for now.

Here is the release from Dr. Paul Salah, Huron Valley Schools superintendent:

"Late Friday evening, we were informed that Oakland County’s risk category moved to a level E. On Monday, October 26, the county was a level C. We anticipated a change in risk determination to level D. We did not expect our risk determination would move from C to E in one week. A level E risk determination means that there are 150 or greater cases per million with a 20 or greater percent positivity rate.

Also, yesterday afternoon we learned that both Lakeland and Milford High Schools have experienced two or more cases from different households. While this is not necessarily indicative of an outbreak, signs do point to the potential for community spread. The risk level coupled with the ongoing cases we have observed in Huron Valley, especially at the high school level, has led us to make the determination that we will pause in-person instruction for at least one week and move from face-to-face learning days to a remote platform. This one-week pause may be extended based upon consultation with the Oakland County Health Department and continued monitoring of ongoing trends throughout the community and the district.

We want to be clear, a level E risk determination does not mean the district will be fully online for an indefinite period of time. There are school districts in the state and country that are operating in counties with a level E risk determination. There are districts that have paused in-person instruction to monitor cases in the community and take appropriate precautions to get their schools back for face to face instruction. This means that we need everyone in the community to do their part by taking necessary precautions. Recent information from the health departments across Michigan affirm that community spread is limited in schools, but instead is taking place in the greater community.

We will continue to work with the health department to make decisions about the best course of action for individual buildings and the district. We may bring some buildings back to face to face instruction after one week while others may take a longer period of time.

Huron Valley Schools will be moved to full remote learning for at least the week of November 2nd. Clearly, the shift in instructional delivery model for next week is a change for all of us. Please be flexible and understand that teachers are doing the best that they can to support your children but may be making last minute alterations to lessons based upon the change in format."

-- Dr. Paul Salah

For more information on the updated district schedule, go the school district’s website here.

More: Return to School section

Related (Oct. 29, 2020): Northville Public Schools: More than 75 students in quarantine after out-of-school parties

Michigan now at risk for ‘active or imminent’ COVID outbreak, data shows

Meanwhile, as of last week a research group is now labelling Michigan at “critical” risk for a coronavirus outbreak as COVID-19 cases once again rise rapidly in the state.

The group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders at Covid Act Now are identifying each state’s risk level for the spread of COVID-19 -- which are worsening in most parts of the U.S.

On Thursday, Michigan’s risk level for a coronavirus outbreak increased from “high” risk to critical risk -- meaning the state is experiencing an “active or imminent outbreak,” according to the data. The state’s new risk level appears to be largely due to an increased infection rate and rapid increase of daily new COVID-19 cases.

“Michigan is either actively experiencing an outbreak or is at extreme risk. COVID cases are exponentially growing and/or Michigan’s COVID preparedness is significantly below international standards,” the researchers report.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.