Several metro Detroit school districts start Thanksgiving break early amid COVID-19 surge

Posted at 5:44 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 05:44:21-05

(WXYZ) — Thanksgiving week is here and Michigan is in the middle of the worst COVID-19 surge in the nation. As metro Detroit families prepare to travel to see loved ones, many kids are finding their Thanksgiving breaks a bit longer than usual.

Several districts, including Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ypsilanti Public Schools, and the Detroit Public Schools Community District, have all canceled classes to try and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

"I don't know what to expect anymore," Arlyssa Heard said. Her son goes to high school in Detroit.

"We have been getting, on average, at least one notification a week about someone contracting COVID-19 in his school," she added.

COVID-19 cases district-wide don't seem to be leveling out, prompting administrators to cut classes starting Monday, two days ahead of the normal Thanksgiving break.

"I'm not necessarily happy, but I'm not trying to put my son in danger, either," Heard said.

On Friday, Michigan once again reported the worst new case rate in the entire country.

in response, some school districts across the state decided to close Monday and Tuesday, hoping to give overworked teachers some breathing room and make time for extra sanitation.

"We are dealing with students that are positive, staff that are positive, folks that are all close contacts," Lakia Wilson Lumpkins, a Detroit teacher, said. "Those are scares because we have loved ones at home that we are trying to safeguard from this virus.

Lumpkins and other concerned parents like Heard are hoping the extra time away and a bigger push toward vaccinations could change the way things are trending.

DPSCD also announced they'll be going virtual every Friday during the month of December, another move to hopefully stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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