Examining the challenges schools face in the omicron surge

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 19:25:27-05

(WXYZ) — School districts across Michigan are scrambling to respond to the soaring number of COVID-19 cases triggered by the omicron outbreak.

Joining us to talk about it, and the challenges they're facing in their own schools, is Dr. Robert Livernois, superintendent for Warren Consolidated Schools.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"Our greatest challenge without a doubt at this crossroad is dealing with employee shortages as it relates to those having to quarantine or test positive and the delivery of particular services throughout the district," Livernois says. "Being a large district, we have a lot of people who drive buses for us and serve food and teachers and so on, so we're watching very closely our employee shortages as a function of whether or not we would have to go remote, much more so than an increase in cases in the school. And the second part is, one of the requirements for us that's a significant challenge is having to contract trace students who may have been exposed to other students. It's an extraordinarily valuable tool to understand the spread of the virus, but I think any school will tell you, I think, contract tracing is probably taking most of their time right now, in order to keep things safe."