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Mt. Pleasant Schools Go Virtual Until February

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As the Omicron variant continues its fast surge through the state, many districts are deciding to go virtual for a few days. One local district called off in-person learning for the rest of the month.

Mount Pleasant schools made the choice to switch to virtual learning for the rest of January.

“When a school is contemplating going virtual or closing, they typically contact us and that was the case here with Mt. Pleasant,” said Steve Hall.

Hall is the health officer with the Central Michigan District Health Department. School districts in his area look to him and other officers for guidance on these decisions.

“It’s ultimately up to them for them to make the call,” said Hall, “Whether they are going to decide to go virtual and for how long.”

For schools, the decision becomes pretty easy due to two factors.

“A lot of them are looking at first, do they have enough staff available to effectively educate kids in-person?” said Hall, “And number two, are there enough kids present that the school days count?”

If a district falls below 75% attendance, the day doesn’t count. Mt Pleasant was short too many students and staff.

Usually the health department recommends at least five days of virtual learning but Hall believes Mt. Pleasant is deciding to wait out the worst of the surge completely.

“The hope is, once we get through this Omicron surge, hopefully we’ll have enough people vaccinated or boosted or gotten COVID-19 and will start to see the end and we get to more of an endemic stage.”