DETROIT — Michigan’s largest school district will suspend in-person classes next week, joining other districts that have shifted to online-only classes as coronavirus cases rise significantly around the state, officials said Thursday.
Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said he can’t ignore a city infection rate that is climbing after reaching nearly 5% last week.
“The district relied on science and the data to reopen schools for in-person learning this summer and fall, and relied on the same (criteria) to decide that it was no longer safe for our students and employees to work in an in-person school environment,” Vitti said.
The suspension will last until Jan. 11 unless numbers improve, he said.
Vitti faced criticism from some teachers and activists for offering a face-to-face option for his roughly 50,000 students, but he said families deserved choices.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s major hospitals planned to speak publicly about the impact of rising coronavirus cases. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer planned a separate afternoon event.
The state reported 6,008 new infections Wednesday and 42 additional deaths.