Ann Arbor Public Schools Report Highest Weekly COVID Case Count – Here’s What You Should Know
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Friday, Ann Arbor Public Schools reported their highest weekly COVID case count since the pandemic began.
“We are working hard to support our staff and serve our students during this challenging January,” said Superintendent Jeanice K. Swift. “Cases in the AAPS and in our community remain high, and we are yet to weather this current Omicron spike.”
Here’s everything you need to know:
The district’s weekly COVID dashboard was updated on Friday (January 21) and revealed that 177 cases were reported this week. This is the highest number of weekly cases for AAPS at any point in the pandemic.
Swift said this reflects the COVID surge currently taking place in the Ann Arbor community.
School officials said they were aware of 37 other COVID cases reported this week by staff and students who were off campus during an infection. Many of these cases directly affect the personal staffing of the district.
The district’s COVID response team is working with an outbreak at an elementary school, Swift said.
“We continue to closely monitor situations in some schools where we are observing patterns in cases on a week-to-week basis,” Swift said in an email message.
The guidelines for K-12 schools in the district have been updated based on the current recommendations from the Washtenaw County Health Department.
Plan for next week
All Ann Arbor Public Schools will be open for in-person classes the week of Jan. 24-28, but the schedule has been adjusted to make Wednesday (Jan. 26) a remote/virtual day, officials said.
Wednesday was originally intended to be a pre-release day and is now treated as a remote/virtual pre-release day. Students are expected to register in their classes at regular morning enrollment time and participate in distance learning.
Wednesday’s virtual classes will follow the original schedule for early release day. The presence is taken.
“We appreciate your assistance with this necessary adjustment,” Swift said.
School officials said the closure of some transportation routes will be extended by a week.
Parents and legal guardians of children affected by this extension will be notified directly of the status of their routes and when they are expected to resume, according to Swift.
That decision was made due to additional COVID concerns for transportation workers, officials said.
“We will continue to monitor this transportation situation closely on a daily basis and will work to restore transportation routes as soon as we can mobilize healthy and qualified personnel for duty,” Swift wrote.
Slow down the spread of COVID
Ann Arbor Public Schools plan to slow the spread of COVID by layering strategies like vaccination, booster shots and universal masking.
Students, teachers and staff should stay home if they have symptoms, officials said.
“We are making progress through this current COVID surge and the impact it is having on our schools,” Swift wrote. “Thank you to our students and staff, parents and the community for all you are doing to support our progress this school year.”
Deciding between face-to-face and distance learning
Keeping students and staff in school remains a top priority for the district, officials said, as long as everyone can be safely supported and supervised.
The decision whether to continue with face-to-face learning or move to distance learning depends on the following factors:
The number of positive COVID cases in a specific classroom or school.
Ability to staff schools for personal learning, monitoring and safe operation.
Guidance by the Washtenaw County Department of Health in response to a specific COVID outbreak situation.
“We continue to monitor staff sickness and attendance 24/7 to determine if it is possible to adequately staff schools and support operations, and to notify our staff, students and parents as early in the process as possible” , Swift wrote. “While we work to notify parents as soon as possible, sometimes these situations can change quickly. We will continue to do everything we can to achieve school learning and communicate often.”
Click here for the district’s full COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
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