By Jessica Mathews/

Students at Hartland High School are being moved to an all-remote format due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The district has completed one week of school in hybrid and remote learning mode. A letter from Superintendent Chuck Hughes says starting tomorrow; the high school will be moved to an all-remote format for all students as part of a collaborative decision with the Livingston County Health Department. The Hartland area teenage population is experiencing increased positive case activity that has spiked and is not settling down. The high school will remain all remote until the Health Department supports coming out of the “pause” and feels confident that the current spike in teenage cases looks better. During the pause, the Health Department will be investigating the circumstances. The district has set a return to in-person school date for September 9th with an understanding that it could change with guidance from the Health Department. The letter says high school teaching staff will provide guidance to students during the all remote period and teaching and learning will continue.

Hughes said while he’s disappointed that he had to make the decision, he wasn’t surprised by it and is hopeful that when they re-open the high school, everyone can work together to ensure a safe learning environment.

Hughes told WHMI the spike is centered on the 14-18 year old population in Hartland while the number of community cases is still below the data point for re-opening schools. He said unfortunately while the Health Department did a wonderful job of isolating events where transmission may have occurred, they’re concerned that the spike remains high and want to keep transmission from occurring in school with this population. Hughes says a 14-day pause in their in-person instruction should help as the incubation period of the virus is 2-14 days. Hughes added he feels confident that this is the right action knowing that they will work to get back to in person instruction as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the letter noted that Livingston County is currently showing a 3.8% positive rate for all individuals tested and 7 new cases per day. The county has had 1,058 overall cases which equates to .54% of 194,668 residents with 99 total hospitalizations. Hughes said he will notify parents when there is an outbreak that results in making decisions to quarantine large groups such as a classroom, school, district or in today's scenario, moving the high school to full remote learning. Hughes clarified that he will not be sending out notifications for every positive case or quarantine situation. The full letter is attached.