10 Detroit-area schools have 42 new Covid cases in past week

October 05, 2021, 9:15 AM by  Alan Stamm

Forty-two new Covid cases at 10 schools in the tricounty Detroit area are in a weekly state report. Actual numbers could be higher because health officials just raised the threshhold for classifying education "outbreaks."

The largest new cluster involves eight positive diagnoses among pupils and staff at Branch Line School, an elementary building in Livonia. That's followed by seven student cases at Lake Orion High in Oakland County.

Statewide, the Department of Health and Human Services lists 95 new Covid outbreaks among K-12 schools and universities. 

The Detroit News explains the revised approach:

Elementary students and staff continue to be the largest source of new outbreaks, according to the data, with 44 elementary schools across the state reporting new outbreaks of three or more cases.

Last month, state health officials changed how they identify and classify outbreaks in K-12 schools, using a new standard of three cases or 10% of students or staff.  The previous definition — in place until Sept. 27 — had a lower outbreak definition threshold, requiring two or more Covid-19 cases associated with a school. ... Outbreaks had grown each week for four straight weeks since classes resumed until the state health department changed the way it defines an outbreak.

(Photo: Carson TerBush/Chalkbeat)

The criteria are at least three Covid patients "who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households. Case counts for school-related outbreaks include those associated with before and after-school programs."

Bridge Michigan puts the new figures into long-term context:

One month into the new school year, there are more than eight times more Covid cases connected to outbreaks among students and staff in Michigan schools than at the same point last year.

And that’s a conservative estimate, given that the state recently narrowed the definition of what constitutes an outbreak. Experts attribute the rise to more students in classrooms this fall, a lack of mask mandates across many districts and counties, and the more transmissible delta variant of Covid-19. ...

The jump in school outbreak cases mirrors a troubling rise in Covid cases and hospitalizations among Michigan residents under the age of 20.

(Photo: Eli Imadali/Chalkbeat)

These eight other Metro Detroit schools are on the list posted Monday:

  • Detroit: Roberto Clemente Learning Academy (elementary), 3 pupils and/or staff
  • Warren: Chatterton Middle School, 4 students
  • Clinton Township: Macomb Intermediate School District office, 5 staff
  • Center Line: Peck Elementary School: 3 pupils
  • Rochester Hills: Holy Family Regional School (elementary): 3 pupils
  • Beverly Hills: Berkshire Middle School, 3 students and staff
  • Troy: Union Elementary School, 3 pupils
  • Northville: Amerman Elementary School, 3 pupils

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