592 infected across 101 new COVID-19 outbreaks at Michigan schools – MLive.com

Michigan identified 101 new COVID-19 outbreaks linked to schools last week, resulting in the infection of at least 592 students and staff.

The latest count, updated Monday, Nov. 1, included a 33% increase in new outbreaks from the prior weekly report. The Department of Health and Human Services provides an outbreaks update once a week, typically on Mondays.

Michigan’s latest outbreaks report also featured 402 ongoing outbreaks from prior updates, which have infected at least 5,082 individuals. Ongoing outbreaks include clusters identified in previous weeks that had at least one additional case in the past 28 days.

In total, the state is aware of 503 active outbreaks, which is about on par with last week’s total (497).

Until recently, an outbreak was defined by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as two or more cases with a link by place and time indicating a shared exposure outside of a household. However, on Sept. 27 the MDHHS announced it would increase the minimum outbreak threshold to three people, “in order to promote consistent reporting among states.”

Schools continue to be the most common setting for reported COVID-19 outbreaks. Part of that is because children younger than 12 aren’t eligible for a vaccine, and less than 50% of the eligible teens have gotten a shot.

Additionally, only 222 school districts have a mask policy, compared to 311 that have no mask policy. The CDC recommends a layer approach to prevention strategies, including promoting vaccinations, correctly wearing masks, allowing for physical distancing and promoting screening and testing for illness.

Among the 101 new school outbreaks, 14 involved 10 or more students and staff. The largest new outbreaks were at:

  • Ovid Elsie High School in Clinton County, where 40 students and staff were infected;
  • Hamady High School in Genesee County, where 24 students and staff were infected;
  • Bates Academy in Detroit, where 16 students were infected;
  • Birch Run High School in Saginaw County, where 14 students were infected;
  • Kolb Elementary in Bay County, where 13 students and staff were infected;
  • J.W. Sexton High School in Ingham County, where 13 students were infected.

Below is an online database that allows readers to search outbreak data by school name or by city or county. The number of those infected is a cumulative total since the original outbreak. (Note: Washtenaw County only reports cumulative totals for the past 28 days.)

Can’t see the database above? Click here.

Below is an interactive map showing both new and ongoing outbreaks listed in Monday’s report. You can put your cursor over a dot to see the underlying data.

Can’t see the map? Click here.

Outbreak data for K-12 schools includes only cases in which the student or staff was infected at school or at a school-related function. Those who caught the virus outside of school are not included.

The state includes this disclaimer with the data: “This information does not provide a complete picture of school-related outbreaks in Michigan and the absence of identified outbreaks in an educational institution in no way provides evidence that, in fact, that school is not experiencing an outbreak.”

For more statewide data, visit MLive’s coronavirus data page, here.

To find a testing site near you, check out the state’s online test finder, here, send an email to COVID19@michigan.gov, or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

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