There are no school-based outbreaks in Kzoo County

The latest report from the state shows no new or ongoing COVID outbreaks in schools in Kalamazoo County for the first time since reporting began.

No school or college in Kalamazoo County is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 according to the most recent report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). It’s the first time the county has had no school-based outbreaks since the state started tracking them in September.

School-based outbreaks have largely been on the decline in Michigan for the past two weeks. However, five schools in Kalamazoo County were dealing with ongoing outbreaks just last week.

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MDHHS began publicly reporting school-based outbreaks last fall after outcry from parents and media outlets seeking access to the information.

Western Michigan University has been dealing with an ongoing outbreak for the entire duration of the state’s reporting. It was first listed as COVID-19 began spreading on campus in the early days of the fall semester.

After 16 weeks of classes, WMU had accumulated 1,229 confirmed COVID-19 infections among staff and students.

The spring surge of the coronavirus has been very different. In the 16 weeks since students returned to campus for the winter semester, the university has only reported 322 infections – almost 75% less than the same period in the fall.

Several other schools in Kalamazoo County have also experienced outbreaks. Kalamazoo College has been on the list almost as long as WMU. Just last week, Portage Public Schools was managing three separate outbreaks at two of its schools.

The abatement of school-based outbreaks raises the hope that the spring surge of the pandemic may be finally winding down.

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