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Health

COVID-19 outbreaks continue to grow in Michigan schools

a classroom of empty colorful chairs
Flickr user Frank Juarez
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Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Cuts are in the works for Michigan's K-12 public schools.

K-12 schools continued to be the largest source of Michigan COVID-19 outbreaks last week, according to state data.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 63 new school outbreaks last week. That’s up from the prior week, when schools surpassed long-term care facilities as the top source of COVID outbreaks in the state. The state also reports 144 ongoing school outbreaks.

Last week’s school outbreaks were spread throughout the state, and ranged anywhere from two to 15  infected students or staff. The state defines an outbreaks as “two or more COVID-19 cases who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households.”

We are seeing a steady increase and new positive cases in schools, especially among the athletes,” Denise Fair, Detroit’s chief health officer, said during a press conference this week. “And I do want to encourage parents to get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed and also get vaccinated to protect your students. This is really important.”

The highest number of school outbreaks among the state’s designated health regions — 21 — came from the counties north of Detroit. That’s Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties.

State health officials have said that the odds of transmitting COVID in the classrooms seems relatively low, if schools take proper precautions. But school-related activities, including sports, seem to be bigger vectors of transmission.

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