31 Michigan schools report COVID-19 outbreaks

State has 2,346 new cases since Tuesday

By: - September 8, 2021 2:53 pm

The University of Michigan | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 964,317 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,447 have died from the virus — an additional 2,364 cases and 51 deaths since Tuesday.

The deaths announced include 10 deaths identified during a vital records review. The DHHS conducts this review process two times per week.

DHHS also reports that an additional 115,918 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 1,308 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 1,077,871 statewide cases and 21,704 deaths.

As all Michigan schools have begun 2021-22 classes, the state is reporting school and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks. As of Tuesday, 31 K-12 schools and four universities — University of Michigan, Northern Michigan University, Adrian College and Eastern Michigan University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Four K-12 schools have outbreaks of ten cases or more, including Gladwin Elementary in Gladwin (14 cases), Adams Elementary in Midland (23 cases), Parker Middle School in Howell (10 cases) and Howell High School in Howell (14 cases). 

Three of the colleges and universities have outbreaks of ten cases or more, including Adrian College in Adrian (11 cases), Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (16 cases) and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (172 cases).

The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is currently at 2.1%.

We're very worried about what going back to school is going to do to the numbers over the next month or so. We're worried that while we've had a mild surge right now, we will get a much bigger surge to follow.

– Dr. Matthew Sims, director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak

“We’re very worried about what going back to school is going to do to the numbers over the next month or so,” said Dr. Matthew Sims, director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak. “We’re worried that while we’ve had a mild surge right now, we will get a much bigger surge to follow.”

The Delta variant is a highly transmissible mutation of the coronavirus, but Sims said there is concern about possible variants with higher fatality rates. 

“Who knows what variant is going to suddenly come out where the mortality jumps tenfold. That’s what I’m worried about,” Sims said. “A variant means it has picked up meaningful mutations. That could mean it spreads faster. That could mean the antibodies that were made from the vaccine don’t neutralize it as well. That can mean that it causes more mortality. It can cause more lingering effects. There are any number of changes that could happen, and we just don’t know when it’s going to happen.”

As of Friday, the state reports that 887,790 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 222 million confirmed cases worldwide and 4.6 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 40.3 million confirmed cases and 651,053 deaths have been recorded nationally.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.

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