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Michigan High Schools Allowed To Resume In-Person Instruction Monday, Most Districts Remain Virtual For Now

(CBS Detroit)- After being required to shut down in November due to rising Coronavirus cases, high schools in Michigan are allowed to reopen for in person learning Monday, but with cases still being reported, is reopening safe?

"All along in person has probably been safe for the kids, right, children in general when they get COVID are not as sick," said Dr. Matthew Sims, director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont Health.

As well fatalities from COVID are rare in kids. However, Doctor Sims says, although virus transmission rates within schools are low, the problem lies with kids taking it home.

"A kid can bring it home infect their family member who may not have symptoms who may then bring it somewhere else and then you get an outbreak that you can't really hack back as easily to the school."

Coming off a holiday break most districts in the area choosing to remain virtual for now. Dr. Richard Machesky, superintendent with the Troy School District says, they plan to resume elementary in person Jan. 18 with High Schools returning the following week.

"Give ourselves that two-week cushion, that was the reasoning behind that, so we can be certain that those numbers would be again trending in the right direction."

High Schools in the Grosse Pointe School District plan to start a hybrid schedule the week of Jan. 25. Detroit Public Schools initially planned to return Jan. 11, but DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti sent CW50 the following statement Monday:

"The district committed to relying on science and data to reopen schools for in person learning this summer and fall and relied on the same criteria to suspend all K-12 classes in November. Although the state's and city's positive rates have declined since November, they are still too high to resume in person learning. We are hoping rates decline below 5% shortly and maintain below that threshold so learning centers can reopen by mid to late January. Shortly the district will reissue its learning and teaching preference survey for K-12 online or in person learning to families and teachers for the third quarter (starting at the beginning of February). We hope to resume in person K-12 learning by early to mid-February assuming positive infection rates continue to decline."

Doctors say with vaccines now being distributed and educators eventually being able to receive them, hopefully schools will be able to return to normal soon.

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