Some metro Detroit schools consider virtual learning amid COVID-19 surge

9 low-cost ways to make virtual learning easier for kids
Posted at 5:24 AM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 05:24:38-05

(WXYZ) — COVID-19 cases in Michigan are continuing to rise as the state appears to be in the middle of its fourth surge.

Hospitalizations are seeing a troubling trend as we head into the holidays.

Michigan confirmed more than 21,000 new cases over a 3-day period on Monday, averaging more than 7,000 a day. It's the highest daily count since mid-April.

Hospitalizations also hit a 7-month high with more than 3,200 patients being treated for COVID-19.

On Monday, the state also reported more than 70% of Michiganders 16 and older with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

But with the colder weather here, there are new concerns about rising cases in schools. On Monday, Michigan reported 86 new COVID-19 outbreaks at K-12 schools.

At Waterford Mott High School, students will be learning virtually for the rest of the week. Parents say they're having flashbacks to 2020 and are concerned the disruption could be huring their kids.

Monica Kostoff says her 14-year-old son is back home and not learning where he belongs.

"It's a repeat of him being home prior and he learned absolutely nothing," she said.

Virtual schooling is the only option for students at Waterford Mott high after the seasonal cold, flu and COVID-19 sent too many teachers home sick.

Administrators sent a letter out to parents on Monday explaining the ordeal.

Detroit Public Schools Community District is also considering a similar move, proposing to go virtual on Fridays only.

In just one week, their COVID-19 cases jumped from 198 to 292. Staff cases also jumped from 20 to 52.

Dr. Teena Chopra, a professor of infectious disease at Wayne State University, says we probably won't see school infections slow down until after the holidays.

"Especially if people keep doing what they are doing, traveling a lot, not masking and also not social distancing and the schools being open and children being unvaccinated," she said.

Some parents are hoping the unvaccinated part will change for most people sooner rather than later.

"We need more people to get the shot. What do you need to study?" one parent asked.

Health departments all over metro Detroit are working with schools to provide vaccinations for free to anyone over 5 years old who wants a shot.

Experts say it could make the holiday season go a lot smoother.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.