Advance Notice: Briefs

State reports 35 new COVID-19 outbreaks in schools in the last week

By: - May 2, 2022 3:20 pm

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that 79 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks as of Monday.

Of those, 35 K-12 schools in 14 counties are experiencing new outbreaks or clusters that total 229 COVID-19 cases.

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

There are 19 pre-kindergarten-12 schools with ongoing outbreaks of 10 cases or more, including Grayling High School (120 cases), Croswell Lexington High School (110 cases), Croswell Lexington junior high/middle school (92 cases), Brown City Community High School (70 cases), Croswell Lexington preschool-elementary school (64 cases) and Sandusky Community Schools (52 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.

DHHS rolls out COVID treatment locator tool

DHHS also announced Monday that there is a new tool for residents to locate COVID-19 treatment options across Michigan.

The website provides a searchable database for Michiganders and health care providers to find locations with therapeutic and preventative treatments.

Those options include monoclonal antibodies, oral antivirals and the preventative treatment Evusheld for moderately to severely immunocompromised patients.

“This new feature removes barriers in accessing treatment by helping those in need of therapeutics easily find locations and the availability most convenient to them,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, DHHS chief medical executive. “We will continue to make improvements in accessing tools that help prevent and treat COVID-19.”

To pick up medication from a pharmacy, residents must have a prescription from a physician or advanced practice clinician as the therapeutics are only available to those eligible.

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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).