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Five new COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan K-12 schools

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Five K-12 Michigan schools reported new outbreaks of the coronavirus last week, bringing the total number of outbreaks in schools to eight since Aug. 20.

State health officials did not specify which districts had the five new outbreaks, only which regions: 1, 2N, 2S and 7.

The number of outbreaks are reported by local health departments to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services every week. COVID-19 outbreaks are generally defined as two or more cases with a link by place and time indicating a shared exposure outside of a household, state health officials said.

MDHHS spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin said Tuesday that as of Aug. 27, there were eight total outbreaks at K-12 schools, including afterschool programs, and six at universities and colleges.

"Local health departments are reporting outbreaks through a weekly situation report. This report does not collect address information," Sutfin said. "We are working on a process to collect more detailed information on school outbreaks in the coming weeks and will report this information once it is validated."

Sutfin said health departments work closely with schools to make sure anyone who is at risk of exposure is notified and the proper procedures are in place. Parents whose children are at risk would always be notified, she said.

There is one new outbreak in region 1, which covers Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston and Shiawassee counties. This region reported a K-12 outbreak last week, bringing the total number to two.

There are two new K-12 outbreaks in region 2N, which covers Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties.

Region 2S, which includes the city of Detroit and Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, has one new K-12 outbreak and had one outbreak last week.

There is one new K-12 outbreak in region 7, which covers Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Ilse, Cheboygan, Emmet and Charlevoix counties.

Region 3, which includes Saginaw, Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw, Arenac, Gladwin, Midland, Bay, Genesee, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac and Huron counties, had one outbreak last week.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been gathering case counts in schools, including K-12 sites and universities.