COVID UPDATE: School outbreaks on the rise again

School outbreaks seemed to be on the decline in the past couple weeks, but Monday's report shows it's too soon to relax.

Outbreaks: School-based outbreaks of COVID-19 are on the rise again in Michigan, and the latest report includes one in Kalamazoo County.

State health officials reported 101 new outbreaks of the coronavirus in schools in Michigan over the past week. That’s almost a third higher than the previous report from the state.

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The new report includes an outbreak of COVID-19 at Haverhill Elementary in the Portage Public School district. Seven students and teachers have been sickened there since last Monday.

There are also six ongoing outbreaks in Kalamazoo County – most of them in Portage:

  • Portage Northern High School
  • Portage Moorsbridge Elementary School
  • Portage Central Middle School
  • Portage Woodland Elementary
  • KRESA WoodsEdge Learning Center in Portage
  • Gagie School in Kalamazoo

Michigan: The statewide positivity rate has breached 12% over the past couple of days, while the average of deaths has climbed to its highest point in months.

In the week ending Sunday, 12.06% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state returned positive results. It’s the highest level reached since the midst of the spring surge of the pandemic. It’s also a sure sign that the coronavirus is far from under control.

State health officials on Monday reported 65 new deaths from the coronavirus, with 29 coming from a review of previous death records. That pushed the seven day average to 47 deaths per day. The death average has pretty steadily increased since about mid-summer and it hasn’t been this high since the end of May.

Health officials also reported 9,313 new cases of COVID-19 between Saturday and Monday. That reversed a downward trend in the seven day average, putting the number up to 3,608 new cases per day.

Kalamazoo County: COVID-19 has also surged back in Kalamazoo County, with new case and positivity numbers breaking recent highs.

Health officials reported 226 new cases of the coronavirus over the course of the weekend. That pushed the seven day average to 95 new cases per day - an average not seen since late April.

The positivity rate is also returning to previous high levels. In the week ending Sunday, 10.57% of COVID-19 tests conducted in the county returned positive results.

On the bright side, the average of new deaths has dipped back down below one per day. Health officials reported no new deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend. That allowed the seven day average to decline to just 0.9 deaths per day.

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