Michigan tops 1.2M total COVID-19 cases

State reports 87 new school outbreaks in last week  

By: - November 15, 2021 4:07 pm

Michigan State University Union | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 1,209,712 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 22,862 have died from the virus — an additional 21,034 cases and 95 deaths since Friday.

The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 7,011 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The daily average of new COVID-19 cases over the weekend has more than doubled since the state’s report on Nov. 8. 

The deaths announced include 27 deaths identified during a vital records review. DHHS conducts this review process two times per week.

DHHS also reports that an additional 160,323 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 1,546 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 1,370,035 statewide cases and 24,408 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, 566 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and nine universities — Alma College, Grand Valley State University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Northwood University, Lawrence Technological University, Northern Michigan University and Hope College — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Of those, 87 are new outbreaks reported Monday.

There are 206 pre-kindergarten-12 schools with outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Western High School (77 cases), Cedar Springs High School (68 cases), Ovid Elsie High School (67 cases), St. Johns Middle School (66 cases), Bullock Creek High School (65 cases), Handy Middle School (64 cases), Eisenhower High School (62 cases) and Pinconning High School (60 cases).

Seven of the colleges and universities have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Northwood University in Midland (56 cases), Lawrence Technological University in Southfield (12 cases), Alma College (51 cases), University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (409 cases), Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (25 cases), Grand Valley State University (51 cases) and Hope College in Holland (11 cases). 

Michigan State University was not included in the DHHS list, but the school reported that as of Monday, it is aware of 794 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 1.9%.

As of Nov. 5, the state reports that 1,026,195 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 254 million confirmed cases worldwide and 5.1 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 47.1 million confirmed cases and 763,619 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.