53 new COVID outbreaks in Michigan schools

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 53 additional COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools and universities as of last week.

The highest number of new and ongoing outbreaks was in the elementary level of West Iron County public schools in Iron River, in the southwest part of the state's Upper Peninsula. There, eight cases have been linked to students and staff.

The data come from COVID-19 outbreaks reported by local health departments each week to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as of the previous Thursday. An outbreak is defined as two or more COVID-19 cases among people who are from different households but may have shared exposure. 

The latest report comes one week after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered a three-week pause of in-person instruction at high schools and colleges, along with restrictions on high school athletics and indoor dine-in service at restaurants and other businesses. 

In addition to the new school outbreaks, there nearly 220 ongoing outbreaks, with the largest, 2,039, off campus at Michigan State University.

The largest ongoing K-12 outbreak is linked to Rockford High School and Freshman Center in Kent County, where 52 cases have affected students and staff.