Another Detroit district summer school student tests positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of positive cases to 3

A classroom with green walls and empty desks.

Update 7/27/20: On Monday, the city health department reported the number of positive COVID-19 cases among students attending in-person summer school classes in the Detroit district is now at three. A total of 359 students have been tested. The department said that the three positive results do not indicate spread of the virus, and the infection rate remains below 1%.

Update 7/26/20: After four days of testing, the number of Detroit summer school students who tested positive for COVID remains at 2. The city health department reported Sunday afternoon that 341 students have been tested. Students who were not tested will not be allowed to return to classes Monday.

Update 7/25/20: None of the 12 summer school students who were tested Saturday tested positive.

None of the Detroit summer school students who were tested for COVID-19 on Friday received positive results, according to the city health department.

Fifty-seven district students were tested Friday. On Thursday, 262 students were tested, with two district students testing positive. The health department previously reported 274 total tests, but on Friday they said that number included family members. The infection rate is less than 1 percent.

A total of 319 students have been tested so far.

Testing will continue Saturday and Sunday, in compliance with a federal court order issued Tuesday to test all of the district’s in-person summer school students. The order is a result of a lawsuit filed by the activist group By Any Means Necessary to halt the district’s in-person summer school.

As schools across the country take steps to reopen, testing in the Detroit district is adding to an intense national debate about how far school districts should go to minimize health risks during face-to-face learning. Many school districts in Michigan, including Lansing and Ann Arbor, have announced they plan to begin the school year virtually. In Detroit, the district will offer a mix of face-to-face and virtual learning options, although superintendent Nikolai Vitti has emphasized the need for face-to-face instruction to meet the learning needs of students and families. 

All students who tested positive for the virus, along with parents and individuals who were in close contact with them, will be quarantined for 14 days and monitored for symptoms. The city health department will also begin contact tracing, and the district will disinfect school buildings and school buses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not recommended universal testing for students, because it has not been systematically studied, has not been proven to reduce person-to-person transmission, and may also pose logistical problems if school districts lack infrastructure or resources. 

Students who tested positive will continue summer learning online. The remaining students must have a negative test in order to return to school on Monday. The last day of summer school is Aug. 6.

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