With spike in COVID-19 cases, Metro Detroit school districts make decision to go fully remote

More than 180K cases confirmed in Michigan

With major spikes in COVID-19 cases, school districts make decision to go fully remote

DETROIT – Going into this year, districts made it clear, plans would be flexible depending on the spread of COVID-19.

With the number of new cases rising fast, they say the situation has reached a level where students will need to stay home.

However, not all school districts are making the same move. It is important to know that the state is using two measurements for community spread.

One is the phases that largely dictate the opening of the economy. The lower the phase the lower the community spread. Schools also use levels from the health department.

“A Level A risk would be the lowest, lowest level of risk,” said Dr. Paul Salah, superintendent of the Huron Valley School District.

The risk goes up from there with Level E being the highest amount of community spread.

The further away from A, the more the community spread. Currently both Oakland and Macomb counties are moving toward Level E and because districts can read the COVID science and interpret the numbers for themselves they will be responding differently.

So for instance, the Huron Valley School District which includes Milford, White Lake and some parts of Commerce with its 8,800 students, today stopped all in person learning. The district currently has 17 total cases and 58 total quarantines for the year. Ten of the 17 positive cases and 37 of 58 quarantines occurred within the last week.

Saleh said last week the district was at a Level C and Friday it quickly moved to Level E.

Conversely, The Utica School District, the second largest district in the state behind Detroit, with its 26,000 students, is continuing its rolling face-to-face school openings.

Currently, the Utica School District has a total of eight or 42 classrooms and four athletic teams quarantined. And in order to continue bringing students back, the district needs the help of the households.

“I would ask our community to do everything it can,” said Tim McAvory of Utica Community Schools.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 184,889 as of Monday, including 7,357 deaths, state officials report.

Read: Coverage of the coronavirus in Michigan and school districts statewide

About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's married and the stepmother of three beautiful and brilliant daughters. Her personal philosophy in life, love and community is, "Do as much as you can possibly do, not as little as you can possibly get away with".