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MPS classes will remain virtual for at least another week amid record Covid-19 cases

Milwaukee Public Schools classes will remain virtual through at least Jan. 18.

MPS announced it was transitioning to virtual learning earlier this month due to high numbers of staff testing positive for Covid-19, initially with the goal of returning to in-person classes on Jan. 10. But amid a continued record surge of coronavirus cases, the district voted Thursday night to push back that return, at a meeting where members also urged the city to issue a mask mandate in curb the current surge.

In the past seven days, the district reported more than 1,000 students and staff have tested positive, according to the system's Covid-19 dashboard. That's more than double what it's been at any point in the pandemic.

Those trends are mirrored at the state and city level. On Thursday, Wisconsin reported a record high number of confirmed new cases for the third day in a row: 11,547.

The state's curve is now nearly a vertical line, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

On Thursday, 11 top health officials in Milwaukee County issued a joint advisory urging everybody in the community to "do their part and take urgent action to prevent additional hospitalization and deaths due to Covid-19."

Those steps include getting vaccinated and boosted, since vaccinated individuals are far less likely to experience severe symptoms or need to be hospitalized. The vast majority of Covid-19 patients in the ICU are unvaccinated, according to officials.

Vaccines and boosters are free and widely available. For more information on Covid-19 vaccines, you can visit Radio Milwaukee’s vaccine resource guide.