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Schools Expected to Open to In-Person Instruction in the Fall if State COVID Cases Continue to Decrease

June 17, 2020
State of Michigan COVID-19 Update June 17, 2020

Schools Expected to Open in the Fall

Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan to provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 cases and strategy for reopening. The Governor announced she expects schools across the state to reopen in the fall for in-person instruction while complying with health and safety measures, as long as we continue to be vigilant and cases continue to decrease.

Tonya Allen, president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation is chairing the “Return to Learn” advisory council established by Gov. Whitmer to ensure smooth and safe transitions back to work that aligns with the MI Safe to Work plan. The council is comprised of students, parents, front-line educators, administrators, and public health officials. The governor also announced that on June 30th, the group will release an executive order and a robust document called “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” that will provide details on what will be required and what will be recommended for schools.

Phase Five

The Governor also said she hopes for the remainder of the state to move into Phase Five of her MI Safe Start Plan by the July 4 holiday. This Phase allows the reopening of movie theaters, gyms, etc. subject to safety protocols and procedures.

This will require the state to remain disciplined as a leader in reducing cases, while the economy continues to reopen. Following the health and safety guidelines, including social distancing by six feet and wearing masks, will help to ensure cases continue to decrease.

Learn more about each phase and where each region of the state is.

Cases and Avoid a Second Wave

The Governor also highlighted that Michigan is one of two states that are on track to contain COVID-19 – along with New York.

Before the “Stay at Home, Stay Safe” Executive Orders were in place, the average Michigander was spreading the virus to three or more people, today that average is less than one person at 0.8. Continuing to be vigilant and wearing masks will be important to ensuring Michigan is not hit with a second wave of the virus.

Wearing a mask can drastically lower the possibility of transmission of the virus to only a 1.5% chance of transmitting the virus between two people in the same space. With only one person wearing a mask that increases to 70% chance of transmission. Based on research and scientific models from UC Berkley’s International Computer Science Institute and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, wearing masks can cut the incidence of cases by as much as 80%.