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Detroit set to fight COVID by closing schools — but only on Fridays

Photo by Kayla Ruble for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Michigan is currently leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita.

In response to the surge, leaders in the Detroit Public Schools Community District announced a new policy to fight the spread of COVID —

Three-day weekends.

For the month of December until Christmas break starts, students and teachers will not have to report to the school on Fridays and instead will have classes remotely, the district said on its website.

What's happening?

Michigan is currently experiencing the nation's highest average daily rate of COVID cases with 84 confirmed cases per 100,000 people, according to data compiled and reported by the New York Times on Thursday. The most recent number of reported cases in Michigan, the Times said, was 17,886, which pushed the seven-day daily average to 8,393.

This is the Wolverine State's highest rate of infection since the pandemic began.

In response, Detroit's schools decided they would just keep students and staff at home on Fridays and conduct remote learning, for the first three weeks of December.

That's right, the school believes that they can fight COVID concerns by keeping kids and teachers out of school on Fridays.

The move was announced Wednesday, Chalkbeat Detroit first reported, in a letter posted by Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.

According to Vitti, the move was made to help address not only rising COVID cases but also for "mental health relief" and to create "time to more thoroughly clean schools."

Though the schools will be closed for learning on Fridays, they will be open for all sporting events and practices.

There was no mention in the superintendent's message about whether COVID is more contagious on Fridays. He also did not offer any explanations as to why Friday was selected over Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday — also known as "days of the week that are not adjacent to weekends."

Also noteworthy, Vitti closed his letter with a warning that increased vaccination requirements could be just around the corner now that little kids can get the shots.

"With the recent vaccine approval for children ages 5 to 11, the district will move forward with greater consideration of vaccine requirements for employees and students," he said.

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