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Parent pushes for classes to remain virtual as COVID cases surge

“its super stressful when you have to worry about the health and safety of your children it’s just a really really daunting time right now.”
Posted at 7:08 AM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 07:08:10-05

Class for many students across metro Detroit will once again start with the click of a button. As COVID cases continue to climb...districts determining it’s best to remain virtual.

"It felt like deja vu like OMG here we go again," says Kristian Whidby.

Whidby has three children that go to Southfield Public Schools, a district that as of Saturday announced it will keep classes online until at least the 14th. Whidby says it should be longer.

”I think that it’s safe and better for everybody if the children remain virtual.”

Whidby says its not worth the risk to return right now because she knows first hand the impact COVID can have on children.

”My son was very sick... We had several 911 calls, shortness of breath, he couldn’t breathe, vomiting couldn’t keep any food down, vomiting, high fever body aches,” says Whidby.

It took months for Whidby’s 9-year-old son to fully recover, so she doesn't want to risk another exposure.

Salena Thomas says her 10-year-old daughter contracted COVID two weeks ago and although her symptoms were mild she doesn’t want to risk getting it again, so they’re getting vaccinated.

“I wanted to make sure that they didn’t get sick when they go back to school and get infected or infect anybody else's kids,” says Thomas.

Thomas was one of about 100 cars lined up in the parking lot of Detroit Enterprise Academy for its vaccine clinic on Sunday. An event principal Emily Gagnon says is necessary.

“People more and more are really taking this virus seriously and understanding how important it is to get their child vaccinated and if they aren't quite there yet asking the team here at Wayne mobile health more questions so they can become comfortable.”

Detroit Public Schools, Hamtramck, Dearborn Heights, Ann Arbor and Southfield public schools have all announced plans to remain virtual for at least a portion of next week.