State reports 31 new school COVID cases in last week

Michigan has 1,258 new cases statewide since Friday

By: - March 28, 2022 3:26 pm

Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 2,074,401 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 32,758 have died from the virus — an additional 1,258 cases and six deaths since Friday.

The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 420 new confirmed cases per day. DHHS currently publishes COVID-19 data three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Starting the week of April 4, the department will begin updating COVID data just once per week on Wednesdays. Reporting on the subset of deaths identified via vital records reviews also will be discontinued.

As of March 23, there have been 131 BA.2 variants identified in the state. DHHS does not differentiate BA.2 from omicron cases, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not identified the subvariant as a “variant of concern” distinct from omicron.

DHHS also reports that an additional 307,945 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 2,820 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 2,384,088 statewide cases and 35,572 deaths.

The DHHS also reports that 79 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks as of Monday.

Of those, 13 K-12 schools — Catherine Blackwell Institute, Detroit Lions Academy, Dr. James Vernor Elementary School, East English Preparatory Academy, Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, Pinehurst Elementary School, Pembroke Elementary, Hemmeter Elementary, Father Gabriel Richard High School, Thurston Elementary, Allen Park High School and Stout Middle School — are experiencing new outbreaks that total 31 COVID-19 cases.

Roughly half of the schools are located in Detroit.

According to the state’s outbreak reporting data, K-12 schools make up 54% of the state’s total new outbreaks and 33% of the state’s total ongoing outbreaks.

Forty-eight pre-kindergarten-12 schools have outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Lapeer High School (153 cases), Greenville High School (145 cases), Caro High School (136 cases), Grayling High School (119 cases) and Croswell Lexington Schools (108 cases).

The state stopped reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in colleges and universities to “streamline the local health department weekly outbreak reporting survey to focus on congregate settings where patients and staff might be more at risk for infection and/or experience severe outcomes from infection” during the current surge in cases.

Michigan State University reported that as of the week of March 14, it is aware of 4,136 cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since the week of Aug. 2. University of Michigan reports that as of March 19, 4,313 staff and students have tested positive for COVID-19.

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. 

The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is currently at 1.6%.

As of Monday, the state reports a total of 578 COVID-19 hospitalizations across Michigan hospitals, with 112 of those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and an average bed occupancy of 77%.

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 481.5 million confirmed cases worldwide and 6.1 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as 79.9 million confirmed cases and 977,052 deaths have been recorded nationally.

Michigan currently has an overall vaccination rate (one or more doses) of 67%, putting it in the bottom third of state vaccination rates. About 60% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated.

About 77% of the entire United States population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).