By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American news
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – On Friday, Superintendent of Hamtramck Public Schools Jaleelah Ahmed released a statement detailing the return to virtual learning for Hamtramck students. Citing the consistent rise in case numbers, the Superintendent says that this is necessary to protect members of the Hamtramck Public Schools community.
“Today, it was determined that we will need to delay the return to in-person learning in response to the increased travel and influx of COVID-19 variants,” said Superintendent Ahmed. “Thus, students in grades K-6 will be learning remotely the week of April 5. The return to in-person learning date for students in grades K-6 has been pushed to the week of Apr. 12.”
Students in grades 7-12 are still on track to return to classes on April 19. Many health officials recommend that students in higher grade levels return to classes later because they are less likely to fall behind due to online learning. However, students at higher grade levels have been found to more easily spread the Novel Coronavirus.
“We believe it is important to continue to respond to the changing pandemic, and to always put the safety of our school community first,” said Superintendent Ahmed. “We remain committed to creating the safest learning environment possible for our children.”
As of Mar. 22, the HPS Community had no active cases within the HPS community, but experienced 15 cases throughout the past year.
In Hamtramck, confirmed cases are currently at 2,007, with 44 people losing their lives as a result of COVID-19 complications. This is following a similar trend as Wayne County, which has been experiencing an exponential growth of COVID-19 cases since March of this year.
The number of cases has consistently risen since the beginning of February for Michigan. As of Apr. 3, Michigan had a total of 692,292 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A number of variants of the virus are suspected to be a contributing factor in the rise of case numbers.
These variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been found to be more contagious than other, previously discovered forms of the virus. All major vaccines including those manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been found to be effective against these variants of COVID-19.
Hamtramck Public Schools released their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in March of 2020, while continuing to update the plan as late as Mar. 3 of this year. Although the plan doesn’t explicitly detail when schools should be closed or reopened, the plan does detail a number of strategies for the various levels of community transmission.
The City of Hamtramck currently has a high rate of transmission, with around 10% of the population experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, according to the Wayne County COVID-19 dashboard. The Center for Disease Control recommends that social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and other mitigation strategies are in place during periods of high transmission.