There were 101 new COVID-19 outbreaks linked to schools last week, resulting in the infection of at least 858 students and staff, according to the state’s latest weekly report.
Michigan’s health departments were also tracking 319 ongoing school outbreaks from previous weeks, which have infected at least 3,017 residents. Ongoing outbreaks include clusters identified in previous weeks that had at least one additional case in the past 28 days.
In total, there were 420 active outbreaks affecting 3,875 students and staff as of Monday, Oct. 18.
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, and individuals 5 to 18 years old represent the largest increase in cases since Sept. 1. 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, 24 involved 10 or more students and staff. Seventeen of those outbreaks were in Macomb, including the top 14. The largest new outbreaks were at:
- Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, where 53 students and staff were infected;
- Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, where 45 students and staff were infected;
- Romeo High School in Washington, where 35 students were infected;
- Anchor Bay High School in Fair Haven, where 33 students and staff were infected;
- Romeo Middle School in Romeo, where 30 students and staff were infected.
While K-12 schools make up the majority of outbreaks, college outbreaks are typically responsible for the majority of individuals affected by the outbreak. The University of Michigan has the largest ongoing outbreak, with 253 affected students and staff.
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.
Read more on MLive: