New outbreak data shows spikes of COVID in Michigan schools

The Monday report shows 46 outbreaks at K-12 schools and massive new infections at colleges and universities.

Michigan’s colleges and universities are the source of more than 3,800 cases of COVID-19. Outbreaks jumped 64% in Michigan K-12 schools in the past week. More than 4,000 teachers and students have been sickened.

Those are some of the results of Michigan’s latest outbreak report, released Monday on the state’s school-related outbreak dashboard. The numbers were current as of September 24.

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A major portion of the numbers come from Michigan State University, which has reported 1,295 infections. That school has already moved to all-online classes amid the pandemic.

Other post-secondary schools aren’t far behind MSU. Grand Valley State University has reported 811 infections and Western Michigan University has 452.

WMU is the only school in Kalamazoo County to have a reported outbreak, but there were three new outbreaks in the region that includes Kalamazoo. Two high schools in Branch County and one in Berrien County were added to the outbreak list.

State health officials are encouraging students and staff to follow the state’s guidance to avoid spreading COVID-19. Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer even tightened rules affecting schools. Her executive order requires elementary school students to wear face masks while attending in-person classes. Previously, they were only strongly recommended.

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