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GRPS monitoring COVID-19 situation; holding off canceling classes

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Posted at 3:11 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 15:40:22-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Public Schools are not canceling classes yet due to coronavirus.

District officials say they are deferring to the Kent County Health Department, which has not recommended any school closures at this time. The health department said it would only recommend closures if there is an imminent public health threat by keeping it open.

Health officials say closing schools could accelerate the transmission of COVID-19 because the most vulnerable people like older people who are caregivers of students and those with chronic health conditions.

GRPS is having daily communication with emergency management teams for the city and Kent County and will provide frequent updates to parents and staff as needed.

So far, the district has provided schools with more disinfectant cleaning materials and cancelled an Ottawa Hills High School trip to Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The district will take direction from the health department on what to do with future field trips, athletic events and other outings in the future.

The Kent County Health Department is still waiting to get test results back on six pending cases.

Parents of GRPS students are encouraged to contact the main office to update emergency contact information and to sign up for enews, Facebook and Twitter updates, and to opt in to robocalls and text messages from the district.

Coronavirus information and resources are available online through the Kent County Health Department, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.