Advance Notice: Briefs

Eight K-12 schools report new COVID-19 outbreaks

By: - April 18, 2022 2:26 pm

Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that eight pre-kindergarten-12 schools are experiencing new COVID-19 outbreaks as of Monday.

The eight new outbreaks or clusters are in McAlear Sawden Elementary, Eberwhite Elementary School, Mitchell Elementary School, St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School, Thurston Elementary School, Whitmore Lake Elementary School, Canton High School and Gallimore Elementary School and combine to a total of 45 cases.

There are 49 schools statewide reporting new or ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19.

The state reports school- and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks on a weekly basis.

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.

There are 23 pre-kindergarten-12 schools with ongoing outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Grayling High School (120 cases), Croswell Lexington High School (108 cases), Zemmer Middle School (96 cases), Croswell Lexington junior high/middle school (92 cases), Rolland Warner Middle School (78 cases) and Brown City Community Schools (70 cases.)

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.

Michigan’s two largest universities, University of Michigan and Michigan State University, are reporting outbreaks. 

Michigan State University reported that as of March 28, it was aware of 4,203 cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since the week of Aug. 2. University of Michigan reports that the week of April 9 resulted in 510 new cases among staff and students.

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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.