178 COVID-19 cases tied to a return of CMU students to campus

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Central Michigan District Health Department announced Monday it has identified 178 cases related to Central Michigan University students returning to the Mt. Pleasant area.

CMU Biology Chair Steve Gorsich in one of the large auditorium class rooms with cloths, towels and disinfectant to clean off tables in between classes in the CMU Biosciences building.

The case count includes 163 confirmed and 15 probable cases, and covers current and former students, along with people living inside and outside of the community who were identified as being associated with other cases related to the return to CMU.

Central Michigan, which began classes on Aug. 17, updated its dashboard through Sunday showing 63 new cases last week and 54 cases the week before for a total of 117 new cases since classes began.

Cases continue to be linked to gatherings off campus, said CMU spokeswoman Heather Smith, and the university is working with Central Michigan District Health Department to do contact tracing to help mitigate the spread. 

"The university continues to consult with our medical experts to ensure decisions are founded in data and science," Smith said. "In addition to the many steps we had in place when we reopened campus a few weeks ago, we recently implemented on-campus testing for faculty, staff and students. We also hope to announce details in the very near future regarding surveillance and pool testing that we are pursuing."

Health department officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The latest numbers come as students attending most of the Michigan public universities begin classes this week.