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Detroit's Renaissance High School turns to remote learning after COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 17, 2021

DETROIT (WXYZ) — With Michigan clocking in the highest number of new COVID cases across the country this week, the transmission of the virus continues to be a concern for many including school districts.

In the new normal many educational facilities are adapting as per their infection rate. Some are switching to remote learning while others exploring a hybrid schedule.

Renaissance High School is the latest victim of a COVID-19 outbreak. And as a safety measure, classrooms in there are now closed for the next 10 days.

"The numbers right now are more students than staff, but we just want to make sure that everyone is safe and the environment is clean," says Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Detroit School Board Member.

Sherry Gay-Dagnogo says during the closure, the building will be deep cleaned and disinfected. While students will remote learn.

"The goal is to make sure we don’t have a high exposure rate. And so that’s why it’s important to get more testing and to know the status of our staff and students," says Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Detroit School Board Member.

According to the state of Michigan, there are more than 450 schools reporting an outbreak of which, nearly 90 of them were added this week.

Epidemiology Professor, Arnold Monto says the surge is shocking but expected.

"The reason for that is a combination of factors, weaning of immunity, a large number of unvaccinated people, and that we are going into the winter season," says Arnold S. Monto, M.D., Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan.

DMC’s Dr. Patricia Uddyback says the long-term solution is the vaccine.

"We have many viruses over time that we have almost eradicated like smallpox with vaccines. So, we know how to deal with this. Once we get more and more people vaccinated the spread will start to decrease. The variants will decrease," says Dr. Patricia Uddyback, VP Academic and Community Affairs, Detroit Medical Center.

Meanwhile, to keep up with the new normal, Detroit Public School Community District has also announced that remote learning will take place on the first 3 Fridays of December.

"We want to make sure we are proactive, and we are taking the steps necessary to properly clean and sterilize all of our schools," says Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Detroit School Board Member.

As of now, kids will return to the school on the 29th of November and once they do, Sherry is encouraging both students and staff to get COVID tested regularly at the site right across the school.

The service is free for anyone working or attending Renaissance High School.