State reports 83 new school COVID outbreaks in last week ⋆

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 1,064,557 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 21,349 have died from the virus — an additional 9,137 cases and 36 deaths since Friday.

The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 3,046 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The deaths announced include 18 deaths identified during a vital records review. DHHS conducts this review process two times per week.

DHHS also reports that an additional 133,610 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 1,389 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 1,189,030 statewide cases and 22,702 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, 393 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and nine universities — Alma College, Northern Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Northwood University, Grand Valley State University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Concordia University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Of those, 83 are new outbreaks reported Monday.

According to the state’s outbreak reporting data, K-12 schools make up more than 50% of the state’s total new outbreaks and 52% of the state’s total ongoing outbreaks. 

Eighty-nine pre-kindergarten-12 schools have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Cedar Springs High School (61 cases), Meridian Early College High School (47 cases), Pennfield High School (46 cases), Pinconning High School (41 cases), Pickford Public Schools (40 cases) and Bullock Creek High School (39 cases).

Michigan State University | Susan J. Demas

Five of the colleges and universities have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Alma College (32 cases), University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (342 cases), Northwood University in Midland (47 cases), Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (19 cases) and Grand Valley State University in Allendale (19 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 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, the local health department must have found three or more COVID-19 cases that may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households. Previously, the state considered an outbreak to be two or more COVID-19 cases. 

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 945,175 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 238.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and 4.9 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 44.4 million confirmed cases and 713,706 deaths have been recorded nationally.

authored by Allison R. Donahue
First published at

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