School COVID-10 cases not always reflected in state’s outbreak information – The Oakland Press | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

With COVID-19 case numbers surging in Michigan, schools have been hit hard. Some school districts, including Waterford, have gone virtual during this holiday week due to the high number of cases.

Those numbers don’t always show up when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services releases school outbreak data each Monday. That data involves outbreaks and clusters that are reported by local health departments.

When those numbers do not match the case numbers at certain schools it’s because those are individual cases not outbreaks or clusters. Parents often find it confusing.

If your school is on the outbreak list on Mondays, the local health department and school are investigating the cluster or outbreak and will contact you directly if you (or your minor/child) were possibly exposed to coronavirus on the school grounds.

Note that students or staff who were exposed to COVID-19 outside of school grounds and are not thought to have spread the disease on the school grounds (due to quarantine, self-isolation, etc.) are not included in the weekly report.

Many factors, including the lack of ability to conduct effective contact tracing in certain settings, may result in underreporting of clusters and outbreaks. The information on Mondays does not provide a complete picture of school-related clusters and outbreaks in Michigan and the absence of identified clusters or outbreaks in an educational institution in no way provides evidence that, in fact, that school is not experiencing one.

Michigan schools are working hard to maintain a safe environment while also providing quality education. Parents with questions of concerns should contact their school or local health department.

The school case numbers reflect what is going on in the state. Michigan continues to lead the country with a 616.3 7-day COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people.

In Oakland County the 7-day case rate is 489.89 per 100,000 as of Tuesday (Nov. 23) which is up 60.46% in the last 7 days.

In Macomb County the 7-day case rate is 593.7 per 100,000 as of Tuesday which is up 67.44% in the last week.

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