DETROIT (CBS Detroit/AP) — Students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) will resume classes online at least through Jan. 14.

The district said Tuesday that online learning is necessary until the city’s COVID-19 infection rates “decrease to safer levels.”

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“Although we are still waiting for some employees to test by tomorrow (the requirement is still in effect), the city’s seven day infection rate has now exceeded 40% and continues to climb,” the district said in Tuesday’s announcement.

“Any return to in person learning with infection rates this high, coupled with current low student and family vaccination rates, will lead to extreme levels of positive cases and quarantining that leads to staff shortages and student absenteeism.

The holiday break for more than 40,000 students in the Detroit district will end Thursday.

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Michigan’s case numbers have caused many schools to delay the start of January classes or switch to online learning. About 37% of eligible Detroit residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, far below the statewide figure.

The Henry Ford Health System is “bracing for one of the bleakest months” of the pandemic, said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, director of infection control, citing the likely spread of COVID-19 during holiday gatherings.

Michigan reported an average of 12,200 new daily cases from last Thursday through Monday.

“This pandemic is not slowing down and we are still surging,” Cunningham told reporters Tuesday.

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