DETROIT - Detroit public schools says it will cancel classes Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week amid an exceptionally high surge of COVID-19 moving through the city.
The district said if it did open the school for classes on Monday, Detroit's infection rate would "inevitably" lead to high rates of quarantining students and workers, which would exasperate an already strained staffing situation. That would lead to an increase of school operations being disrupted.
"Therefore, the district will cancel all in-person, online, and virtual learning Monday-Wednesday to have all employees test at no cost at 10 of our select schools Monday and Tuesday," read a statement from Chrystal Wilson, assistant superintendent at the district.
The statement also encouraged students to get tested next week. They can do so for free any of the district's 10 sites.
According to the Detroit Public School Community District, the infection rate in Detroit is at an all-time high of 36%. A symptom of both the omicron variant's spread and the holidays has created an infectious end of the year in Michigan.
The district says that it will reevaluate its next steps on Wednesday.
Wilson said that classes were canceled and not moved online because of the students that don't have access to devices at home. If they came into the class, their safety could be jeopardized, the district said.
The district says its mandatory vaccination policy will go into effect on Feb. 18.
The school board approved the requirement earlier in December. At that time, 80% of employees had already gotten vaccinated.
Students will also be required to get a Covid test weekly, or they'll be mandated to attend virtual school. That rule goes into effect on Jan. 31.
A student vaccine mandate is also likely by the first day of the school year.