By Jon King /

Students in the Huron Valley Schools district are back to learning remotely following a decision over the weekend to close the district’s buildings for at least a week due to rising rates of COVID-19.

A release was sent out Saturday by Huron Valley Superintendent Dr. Paul Salah in which he said they were informed late Friday that Oakland County’s risk category had moved to Level E, which means that there are 150 or greater cases per million with a 20 or greater percent positivity rate. As recently as last Monday, it was at Level C and due to the spike in cases the risk assessment has completely jumped over Level D. In addition, they were also told both Lakeland and Milford High Schools had experienced two or more cases from different households.

Taken together, those factors led to the decision to pause in-person instruction for at least one week and move from face-to-face learning days to a remote platform. Salah said the one-week pause may be extended based upon consultation with the Oakland County Health Department and continued monitoring of ongoing trends throughout the community and the district.

“We want to be clear, a level E risk determination does not mean the district will be fully online for an indefinite period of time. There are school districts in the state and country that are operating in counties with a level E risk determination. There are districts that have paused in-person instruction to monitor cases in the community and take appropriate precautions to get their schools back for face to face instruction. This means that we need everyone in the community to do their part by taking necessary precautions. Recent information from the health departments across Michigan affirm that community spread is limited in schools, but instead is taking place in the greater community.”

Salah asked parents to please be flexible and understand that teachers are doing the best that they can to support students and that while he understands “that everyone has pandemic fatigue” they should know that “every Huron Valley staff member is doing all they can to meet the challenges associated with educating in a global pandemic.”