Detroit Public Schools Community District goes all virtual through Jan. 14

Detroit school district won’t meet in person for now

Lockers in the hallway of a school. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) will be all virtual learning through Jan. 14, the district confirmed Tuesday.

This announcement comes after the district canceled all classes this week through Wednesday, Jan. 5 in an effort to test all employees for COVID-19 before students return to school. Staff members will reportedly be tested for COVID at no cost to give the district an idea of how likely and safe it would be to welcome students back for in-person learning. Officials said as of last week the city of Detroit had a COVID-19 infection rate of 36%.

The district said it would use the staff infection rate to determine how to proceed for the remainder of the week and in the weeks to come. According to DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the district could not immediately shift to online classes this week due to the “need to test employees,” and because not all students have access to the learning platforms at home.

Virtual classes will start Thursday, Jan. 6.

“Unfortunately, the city’s infection rate continues to climb and now has exceeded 40% for a seven-day average,” reads a statement from a district spokeswoman on Tuesday, Jan. 4. “Once the city’s infection rate decreases to more normal levels, then we will resume in-person learning. Please note that online learning will follow the regular school’s bell schedule per state requirements.”

The district said laptops for eligible students can be picked up at the child’s school this Thursday (12 p.m.-4 p.m.) or Friday (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) or next week on Monday or Tuesday (both days 9 a.m.-4 p.m.). All laptops will need to be returned when in-person learning restarts. IT hotlines and Hubs will open next week for family and student support.

The district also said Grab and Go meals will be provided next week on Mondays and Thursdays.

More: COVID vaccine mandate issued for Detroit public schools staff

Michigan COVID cases

Michigan reported 61,235 new cases of COVID-19 and 298 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 12,247 cases over the past five days.

This is the second-largest daily case average for Michigan since the start of the pandemic. On Wednesday, officials reported an average of 12,929 cases over two days.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,568,573, including 27,286 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,507,338 cases and 26,988 deaths, as of Wednesday.

The deaths announced Monday include 172 identified during a Vital Records review.

Testing has increased to around 50,000 to 60,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate jumping up to 22.93% as of Dec. 29. Hospitalizations are on the rise again after slightly decreasing for the past few weeks.

See more data here.

About the Author:

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