Michigan has 106 new school outbreaks in last week

State reports 7,733 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

By: - September 27, 2021 3:32 pm

Grand Valley State University | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 1,015,802 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,898 have died from the virus — an additional 7,733 cases and 35 deaths since Friday.

The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 2,577 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The deaths announced include 13 deaths identified during a vital records review. DHHS conducts this review process two times per week.

DHHS also reports that an additional 124,582 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 1,351 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 1,132,651 statewide cases and 22,214 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, 290 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and seven universities — Alma College, Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, Northwood University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Of those, 106 are new outbreaks reported Monday.

Forty-two pre-kindergarten-12 schools have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Cedar Springs High School (44 cases), St. Charles High School (42 cases), Pinconning High School (39 cases), Adams Elementary in Midland (32 cases), Lakeview High School in Battle Creek (31 cases) and James T. Jones Elementary in Escanaba (29 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 (46 cases), Eastern Michigan University (22 cases) and Grand Valley State University (16 cases).

Michigan State University was not included in the DHHS list, but the school reported that as of Sept. 20, it is aware of 381 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 2.1%.

As of Friday, the state reports that 917,827 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 232.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and 4.8 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 43 million confirmed cases and 688,982 deaths have been recorded nationally.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered 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.