Oxford Middle School cancels in-person learning amid rising coronavirus cases

Students to learn remotely through end of week

Empty classroom desks (WJXT)

OXFORD, Mich. – In-person learning at Oxford Middle School has been canceled for the remainder of the week as a precautionary measure due to rising COVID-19 cases among the community.

Officials announced Tuesday that students at Oxford Middle School will switch to remote learning for Oct. 7-9 as the district works with the county health department to confirm positive COVID-19 cases.

“In our experience, this can be a lengthy process while epidemiologists speak with health care providers and perform contact tracing,” the Oxford Community Schools district wrote in a letter to families. “Rather than risking potential additional exposures in the interim, we are choosing to temporarily close Oxford Middle School for the remainder of the week. This is a proactive, cautionary measure and we are proud of our students and staff for their continued adherence to our protocols.”

Officials say that anyone believed to have close contact with an infected individual will be contacted directly by the Oakland County Health Division. Students asked to quarantine must be out of school for 14 days since their last exposure to COVID-19, officials said.

Oxford Middle School students are expected to engage in virtual learning for the remainder of the week. Students can return to school for in-person learning on Tuesday, Oct. 13, following an already-scheduled break on Monday, officials said.

In related news, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order on Tuesday requiring all schools to publicly disclose probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases beginning on Oct. 12.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-monitor for symptoms, and get tested should symptoms arise. COVID-19 symptoms can develop up to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Individuals who get tested for COVID-19 are encouraged to self-quarantine until test results are received.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about COVID-19 here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.