Upper Peninsula Michigan county stops in-person learning after virus spike

Houghton County pivots to online classes only

Stock image of school desks (Wokandapix/Pixabay.com)

HOUGHTON, Mich. – A county in the Upper Peninsula is suspending in-person classes at all schools for two weeks due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Houghton County schools will have online classes only, through Oct. 9. Football games and other sports events have been canceled.

“The positive test rate for Houghton County has risen from 0.6% at the end of August to 5.1% as of September 21," health officer Kate Beer said.

More: Western Upper Peninsula Health Department website

“This pause allows us to work with the schools and other community partners to review and strengthen mitigation efforts as we move forward with the school year. The goal is to slow the spread so that local resources are not overwhelmed,” Beer said.

The county reported 26 new cases Thursday, and 84% of its 336 cases have occurred in the last month, The Daily Mining Gazette reported. Michigan Technological University said the rise was partly due to students arriving for in-person classes.

VIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools