WMU continuing in-person classes despite rise in COVID cases

The school has no plans to initiate a campus-wide lockdown as has happened at other schools.

Officials at Western Michigan University continue to be confident in the school’s mix of online and in-person classes even as the number of coronavirus infections among staff and students increases.

WMU recently began reporting COVID-19 testing data on Tuesdays and Fridays via its COVID-19 reporting webpage. Data from Tuesday shows 43 new COVID-19 cases since Friday bringing the school’s total to 163 infections since August 10.

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More worryingly, WMU is reporting a positivity rate of 20.6% as of Friday. The positivity rate counts the ratio of positive test results against the total number of tests given.

Kalamazoo County Health Director Jim Rutherford is not surprised.

“We knew this would happen,” he told MLive. “These waves come in, particularly in instances when we are engaging with individuals who are starting to undertake those activities that have been dormant for a while [such as beginning classes].”

He said he’s confident in WMU’s ability to keep the virus in check.

“What we have within WMU is a phenomenal health center, coupled with our partnership with them I’m very confident they’re up to the task of really addressing this,” he said.

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