Oxford district reports 14 virus cases as state finds school outbreaks increased since last week

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Oxford Community Schools on Monday reported at least 14 more COVID-19 cases in the district.

There were eight at Oxford High School, which had 19 total active cases, said Jill Lemond, the district's assistant superintendent of student services, in a statement on its website.

The positive cases were all students, and most of them attended class March 8-10, she said.

On Friday, the district reported 11 active cases at the high school, with 201 students, an estimated 10% of the population, in quarantine due to possible exposure.

The high school already had shifted to remote learning "proactively in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus" and officials hope to resume in-person classes on March 22, according to the district website.

"Our administrative team is still in the process of calling the parents of quarantined students," Lemond said Monday. "We hope to communicate with all families by tomorrow morning."

Meanwhile, the district on Monday reported it had learned of four additional COVID-19 cases among students at Oxford Middle School. Three who tested positive were present while potentially infectious, officials said: one on March 10 and two on March 12.

"Our regularly scheduled classes will continue and, if you do not receive a specific quarantine notice as well as a phone call from a school administrator, your child can attend school as scheduled," district officials said in a statement.

There are a total of 10 active cases at the middle school, according to the district. Last week, when the middle school reported six cases, 64 students were quarantined, or about 7% of that building's population. 

Two other cases in the district were confirmed Monday: a staf member at Daniel Axford Elementary and another at the administration building, officials said.

Both people were last present on Thursday. Classes were expected to continue at the elementary, where "we have no evidence of in-school transmission," the district said.

One person was quarantined as a result of the case at the administration building, which will remain open. "If you do not receive a specific quarantine notice as well as a phone call from a district administrator, you should report to work as scheduled," the website indicated.

The Oxford cases comes as state health officials found that new school outbreaks have increased since last week, with 58 reported Monday at education institutions including pre-K-12 public and private schools, colleges and school administrative buildings.

Of the 52 cases in K-12 buildings, 34 were in high schools, 12 in junior high/middle schools and six in preschool/elementary buildings.

Among the largest outbreaks: 17 cases among students and staff at Handy Middle School in Bay City and 17 cases among students and staff at Lutheran Northwest in Rochester Hills.

Meanwhile, the state added 3,143 cases and nine deaths on Monday, bringing the total to 610,580 and 15,783 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Last week, the state recorded 11,383 cases and 109 deaths from the virus, the third consecutive week of increasing cases but a drop in deaths.

The state has seen an 84% decrease in cases from the mid-November peak but has exceeded early October rates again, according to the state health department.