Health department reports COVID-19 outbreaks in 80 schools across Michigan

(WWJ) The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in more than 80 schools across the state.

The biggest outbreak was reported at Battle Creek Pennfield High School, where 46 students tested positive for the virus. Alma College in mid-Michigan reported 32 students infected. Wayne County reported only one outbreak at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights. Oakland County had outbreaks at four schools including Angell Elementary in Berkley, Keith Elementary in West Bloomfield, Troy Wattles Elementary and Country Oaks Elementary in Commerce Township.

Macomb County reported no school outbreaks this past week.

This list is updated once a week, on Mondays. VIEW THE FULL LIST HERE.

Something to keep in mind: Starting this month, the state is redefining what qualifies as a school outbreak; a change that will result in fewer documented outbreaks. A school must now have three or more associated cases to make the list, while an outbreak previously consisted of two or more cases.

MDHHS spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin acknowledged to the Detroit Free Press that the change may lead to fewer reported outbreaks in K-12 schools. Sutfin said, however, that the change was made based on new guidance from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

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

This comes as MDHHS is reporting 9,131 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the state, which averages to more than 3,000 cases per day. The state is also reporting 36 more COVID-related deaths in Michigan, including 18 identified during a vital records review.

In more positive news, a total of 945,175 people sickened by COVID-19 in Michigan since the pandemic began are now considered recovered.

The latest information on the coronavirus in Michigan, including about testing sites and vaccinations, can be found at michigan.gov/coronavirus/.