Advance Notice: Briefs

State reports 14 new COVID-19 outbreaks in schools in the last week

By: - April 25, 2022 5:42 pm

C.J. Moore

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that 44 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks as of Monday.

Of those, 14 K-12 schools —Burns Elementary-Middle School, John R. King Academic And Performing Arts Academy, Wacousta Elementary, Little Dragons Learning Center, Gull Lake-Ryan Intermediate, Ottawa Area Center, Allen Elementary, Burns Park Elementary, Lawto Elementary, Logan Elementary, St. Francis Of Assisi Elementary School, Thurston Elementary, Ypsilanti Community Schools and Isbister Elementary School — are experiencing new outbreaks or clusters that total 59 COVID-19 cases.

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

There are 15 pre-kindergarten-12 schools with ongoing outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Grayling High School (120 cases), Croswell Lexington High School (108 cases), Croswell Lexington junior high/middle school (92 cases), Brown City Community High School (70 cases), Croswell Lexington preschool-elementary school (64 cases) and Brown City Community pre-school-elementary school (50 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.

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.

The University of Michigan ceased reporting COVID-19 cases as of March 28, as “the current case count numbers do not accurately reflect the prevalence of COVID-19 in the campus community due to the rise in at-home testing.” The last reported number of total cases on that day was 4,203 since Aug. 2.

Michigan State University reported on Wednesday that the number of COVID-19 cases on campus decreased the previous week compared to the week before, but “remained at an elevated plateau level.” The percent positivity for the campus community sampling and tracking program has dropped and is now just under the threshold of 3%.

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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).