This week, 211 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. Only halfway through the month, 24 Michigan public schools have closed temporarily or put in place remote learning plans in January due to COVID-19 disruptions, including Ann Arbor Public Schools, Detroit Public School Community District and Flint City School District, according to Burbio, a data service that aggregates calendars nationwide.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Three Rivers Community Schools (TRCS) administrators have had to make difficult choices concerning transportation services for their students. Watershed Voice spoke with Interim Superintendent Nikki Nash about those choices, and possible solutions to an all too common problem in Southwest Michigan.

“This surge is seemingly unending, and we’re told it might not peak until Christmas. If people are waiting for the system to break, I’d argue we’re probably there. We’re caring for so many people in the ER that people are leaving the waiting room before they get seen. People are going to three different hospitals to be seen.” — Dr. Rob Davidson, West Michigan emergency physician

Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means kid-sized doses can begin shipping to health care providers across the country. The Centers for Disease Control’s panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss guidelines for the vaccine’s use in the younger age group.

State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) writes, “For decades, top-down movements have been sowing the seeds of disinformation, which has created a world where everyday Americans cannot trust facts presented to them. This environment divides us and those who fuel disinformation intend to confuse Americans and pit us against each other. Our democracy is stronger when we work together. Those hellbent on power and control know this well — and use disinformation to push us apart. When we are too busy fighting each other, we fail to notice when bad actors chip away at our freedoms, our rights and our collective power.”