Wondering about COVID cases at your child’s school? Search our outbreaks database.October 20, 2021
Is COVID spread accelerating in Michigan schools?
There’s good evidence that COVID has spread widely in schools this fall, and that it spread more quickly in school districts without masking requirements.
But the state’s data on cases in Michigan schools that are part of COVID outbreaks isn’t reliable for comparisons with last year. That’s because so many more students are learning in person this fall and because of a change to how epidemiologists define outbreaks.
An outbreak is roughly defined by epidemiologists as three or more linked COVID cases on school grounds. At the start of this school year, epidemiologists began declaring outbreaks after at least three related COVID cases are reported to public health officials. Previously, two cases were enough to warrant an outbreak declaration. One-off cases not part of outbreaks won’t be included in the state data.
if 12 students contracted COVID after coming into contact with each other at school, that’s an outbreak. If just two students got COVID in the same classroom, the cases wouldn’t be reported, because an outbreak would need to have at least three cases to be reported to the state.
Despite the data’s limited use in identifying trends, many families are keenly interested in the presence of COVID cases at their children’s schools, and the state’s reports on school-related COVID outbreaks are the most convenient way to get it. Districts post COVID case tallies on their websites, but the information can be hard to find.
That’s why Chalkbeat is publishing a table containing all COVID outbreaks in Michigan K-12 schools this year. The data, published by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Resources, is published weekly.
Michigan is on track to quickly surpass the 11,700 outbreak-related cases reported last year. Less than two months into the school year, health officials have reported 3,519 outbreak-related COVID cases in K-12 schools.
Search the table below for your school or county. Chalkbeat will update this table weekly to give you the most current data available from the state.
This article was originally posted on Wondering about COVID cases at your child’s school? Search our outbreaks database.