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Most Little Rock schools returning to in-person classes

January 11, 2022 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Most Little Rock schools will return to in-person classes Wednesday, but several will continue virtual instruction because of the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, area school districts announced Tuesday.

Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore said most of his district’s schools would return to in-person classes Wednesday, but several would continue virtual instruction. The Pulaski County Special School District also announced a return to in-person classes starting Wednesday. Both districts shifted to virtual classes late last week.

Arkansas has seen a rise in cases and hospitalizations fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus. The state on Tuesday announced 7,756 new COVID-19 cases, although the actual number is likely higher because of those testing at home or who are infected and haven’t been tested.

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The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 80 to 1,148, while deaths increased by 25 to 9,358 total since the pandemic began.

Other school districts have been shifting to virtual classes because of the spike in cases. The Helena-West Helena School District said it would shift to virtual classes and have no in-person instruction until Jan. 18 because of the outbreak.