Department of Health and Human Services offers school outbreak information
Thu, 09/17/2020 - 3:34pm caleb
New website page – active as of Monday, September 14 – shows reported COVID-19 outbreak numbers for Michigan schools, colleges, and universities
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced that its website will now include a page – “School-Related Outbreak Reporting” – that provides information regarding COVID-19 “outbreaks” in the state’s schools, colleges, and universities.
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10), which serves Crawford County and nine other counties in Michigan, “is one of the many local health departments across the state working closely with MDHHS to provide the data on COVID-19 outbreaks that will be shared weekly,” health department officials said.
“District Health Department #10 staff have been working in partnership with local school districts across the 10-county jurisdiction to keep staff and students safe as they have prepared for reopening. We will continue to work alongside districts throughout the year to provide guidance on maintaining a safe environment, as well as investigate any positive cases and identify close contacts,” said Dr. Jennifer Morse, Medical Director for DHD#10.
The definition of “outbreak” for the purposes of the reporting is two cases linked to a school-related class or activity.
“A COVID-19 school outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases among students or staff of the same school building with onset of symptoms within a 14-day period. These cases are found to be linked to the same setting, during the same time period (e.g., same classroom, school event, school-based extracurricular activity, school transportation), do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts in any other setting other than school,” according to DHD#10.
The new site will be updated weekly on Mondays, health department officials said.
“The information being posted on the MDHHS website each Monday at 3 p.m. will include K-12, college, and university school names, addresses, number of cases, and if the cases involved staff, students, or both. Students or staff exposed to COVID-19 outside of the school building and are not thought to have spread the virus in the school due to quarantine or self-isolation are not included in the data,” health department officials said.
The site’s initial post on Monday, September 14, is divided into two sections, “New School Outbreaks” and “Ongoing School Outbreaks.”
Most of the schools listed are colleges or universities. The largest “outbreaks” listed on the site are: Michigan State University, East Lansing (203 cumulative cases); Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant (271 cumulative cases); Adrian College, Adrian (229 cumulative cases); Grand Valley State University, Allendale (438 cumulative cases); and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (77 cumulative cases).
The Crawford AuSable School District is not listed as having an outbreak.
The site can be accessed through www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.