371 Michigan schools report COVID outbreaks ⋆

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 1,039,337 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 21,139 have died from the virus — an additional 8,704 cases and 62 deaths since Friday.

The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 2,901 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The deaths announced include 19 deaths identified during a vital records review. DHHS conducts this review process two times per week.

DHHS also reports that an additional 129,901 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 1,364 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5, 2020.

Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 1,169,238 statewide cases and 22,503 deaths.

As all Michigan schools have begun 2021-22 classes, the state is reporting school and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks on a weekly basis. As of Monday, 363 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and eight universities — Alma College, Northern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Northwood University, Grand Valley State University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Of those, 95 are new outbreaks reported Monday.

Sixty-six pre-kindergarten-12 schools have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including St. Charles High School (48 cases), Cedar Springs High School (44 cases), Pinconning High School (39 cases), Pickford Public Schools (37 cases), Lakeview High School in Battle Creek (36 cases), Adams Elementary in Midland (32 cases), and James T. Jones Elementary in Escanaba (30 cases).

Four of the colleges and universities have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (506 cases), Northwood University in Midland (47 cases), Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (22 cases) and Grand Valley State University in Allendale (17 cases).

Michigan State University was not included in the DHHS list, but the school reported that as of Monday, it is aware of 522 cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since the week of Aug. 2. 

There are some holes in the state’s reporting of school-related outbreaks, as the DHHS doesn’t track individual COVID-19 cases in schools and relies on local health departments to track and report. 

To be considered an outbreak, it must be found by their local health department to have two or more COVID-19 cases who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households. Case counts for school-related outbreaks include those associated with before and after school programs and cases originating from on-campus and off-campus student housing. 

According to DHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin, students or staff who were exposed to COVID-19 outside of school grounds and are not thought to have spread the disease on the school grounds are not included in the report.

The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is currently at 2%.

As of Friday, the state reports that 931,115 people have recovered from COVID-19.

The first two cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on March 10, 2020. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency that day.

Johns Hopkins University reports that there are about 235.2 million confirmed cases worldwide and 4.8 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 43.8 million confirmed cases and 702,444 deaths have been recorded nationally.

authored by Anna Gustafson
First published at https%3A%2F%2Fmichiganadvance.com%2F2021%2F10%2F04%2F371-michigan-schools-report-covid-outbreaks%2F

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