Michigan announces 83 more COVID-19 outbreaks at K-12 schools, universities

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Michigan health officials reported 83 new COVID-19 outbreaks among its K-12 schools and universities on Monday, with two colleges reporting outbreaks.

Alma College in Gratiot County has 32 cases among its undergraduate population and Washtenaw County's Concordia University has six cases among students and staff, according to data posted by the state.

In K-12, elementary students and staff continue to be the largest source of new outbreaks, according to the data, with 36 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 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. 

The largest number of new cases per school was reported at Pennfield High School in Battle Creek with 46 students. Owosso Middle School has 17 cases among students and staff.

The largest ongoing outbreak at colleges on the state's list was at the University of Michigan, with 342 cases involving students and staff. UM's COVID-19 dashboard shows cases have steadily declined since fall semester began Aug. 30, with a high of 195 cases during the week of Aug. 29. The school reported 53 preliminary cases last week.

Northwood University, a private school in Midland, is also among the universities with ongoing COVID-19 cases. It has recorded 47 cases involving students since Sept. 13.   

Michigan State University was not on the state's list, but MSU's COVID-19 dashboard shows 446 cases since Aug. 1. Cases at MSU have also dropped from a high of 135 cases during the week of Sept. 6 to 37 new cases reported on Oct. 4.

Michigan added 9,137 cases and 36 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, including totals from Saturday and Sunday. 

The latest figures push the overall totals to 1,064,557 cases and 21,349 deaths since the virus was first detected in the state in March 2020.

The state averaged 3,046 cases per day over the three days. Of the latest deaths reported, 18 were identified during a vital records review, state health officials noted. 

Michigan's COVID-19 infection numbers have been trending upward for 13 weeks amid concerns over the highly contagious delta variant.

jchambers@detroitnews.com

Staff writer Kim Kozlowski contributed