Kalamazoo Health Director: School going well, but still need to plan for COVID

Kalamazoo's top health officials updated school leaders on COVID prevention in the county since school went back into session.

School is going pretty well so far, even for the few, small districts in Kalamazoo County holding in-person classes. That was the message Monday night from Kalamazoo County Health Director Jim Rutherford.

Nonetheless he told members of the Comstock Public Schools Board of Education it is important to have a plan to mitigate infections and then stick to it.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

“What I always try to compare this to is driving a car,” he said. “I can do things like wear my seatbelt, I can do things like obey the speed limit, obey the laws of the road. … Those are things I can employ again to reduce the likelihood of getting in an accident. It’s very much the same when we talk about reducing the chance of getting COVID.”

County Epidemiologist Mary Franks told the board infections in K-12 schools are different than in universities. Infection rates at universities have been surging since classes went back into session.

“What we see in K-12 population … say one of their parents is positive or something, that’s how they become positive. It’s typically not from interacting with other kids,” said Franks.

Rutherford said the key to halting outbreaks was to make sure sick kids don’t come to school.

“Really we’re putting that burden on families,” he said.

You can read more at WOOD TV 8.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.