Hamburg School District administration office webstock

When students in the Hamburg School District return from winter break they won't be heading into classrooms.

In a video message posted on the district's website Tuesday, Dr. Richard Mextorf, superintendent, said classes will be held completely virtually from Jan. 4 through Jan. 8 in hopes of avoiding a post-holiday outbreak of COVID-19.

The district did the same following Thanksgiving break, having students learn virtually for a week before returning to in-person instruction. Mextorf cited the success of that move in announcing the post-winter break building closures.

"It looks like we made a good decision to go virtual," he said.

Mextorf acknowledged that, despite guidelines from the state not to do so, many students and staff will gather together with their extended families to celebrate the holiday season. The best way to make sure that those gatherings don't translate into a rash of COVID-19 cases at Hamburg schools is to delay a return to school buildings.

"I know this is a hardship for some of you, and I apologize," Mextorf said in his message. "Once again we are playing the long game here, and we want to make sure that we don't encourage anything that's going to make this thing spread so we're not able to come to school at all."

Full in-person instruction in the district will resume Jan. 11.

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