January 19, 2022

Syltel Lovely

Singularly Lovely Education

School COVID outbreaks quadruple, total clusters climb 18% in Michigan

Michigan health officials identified 356 active COVID-19 outbreaks last week, which was an 18% increase from the prior week.

The latest weekly outbreaks report included 106 new clusters, including 30 tied to K-12 schools, 19 within long-term care facilities and 13 linked to retail establishments.

Additionally, there were 250 active and ongoing outbreaks that carried over from previous outbreak reports. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services publishes an updated list online each week.

An outbreak is generally defined as an instance in which two or more cases are linked by a place and time, indicating a shared exposure outside of a household.

Some settings, like nursing homes and youth programs, are easier to track outbreaks due to testing requirements. Others like social gatherings, bars and restaurants are more challenging. Thus, the state warns that its outbreak count is likely less than reality.

Schools saw one of the largest increases in active known outbreaks, jumping from 11 clusters a week ago to 45. School outbreaks have been reported in 23 counties, including Berrien, Delta, Gladwin, Genesee, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Marquette, Mason, Midland, Monroe, Oakland, Osceola, Ottawa, Shiawassee, St. Joseph, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

The largest clusters involved 172 students and staff at the University of Michigan, 23 students and staff at Adams Elementary, 16 students at Eastern Michigan University, and 14 students and staff at Gladwin Elementary.

Below is an interactive map of active COVID outbreaks noted in the Sept. 7 school outbreaks report. Hover over a colored dot to see the school and how many cases were linked to the given outbreak.

Can’t see the map? Click here

Outside of K-12 schools and colleges, MDHHS is not identifying specific locations or the number of coronavirus cases. However, it is listing the information by the state’s eight health district regions. (Note those regions have different numbers than the MI Safe Start Plan.)

By region, the breakdown of the clusters:

  • Region 1 (Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston and Shiawassee counties): 54 clusters, with 23 new and 31 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 2N (Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties): 47 clusters, with 12 new and 35 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 2S (city of Detroit and Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties): 49 clusters, with 10 new and 39 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 3 (Saginaw, Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw, Arenac, Gladwin, Midland, Bay, Genesee, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac and Huron counties): 51 clusters, with 20 new and 31 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 5 (Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties): 23 clusters, with seven new and 16 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 6 (Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties): 73 clusters, with 16 new and 57 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 7 (Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Ilse, Cheboygan, Emmet and Charlevoix counties): 25 clusters, with six new and 19 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 8 (Upper Peninsula): 34 clusters, with 12 new and 22 ongoing outbreaks.

By category, the outbreaks totaled:

  • 82 clusters (19 new and 63 ongoing) at long-term care facilities, which include skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, adult day cares and group homes.
  • 51 clusters (12 new and 39 ongoing) were linked to manufacturing or construction sites.
  • 45 clusters (32 new and 13 ongoing) at K-12 school or colleges. A total of 41 outbreaks involved K-12 schools, with the remaining four outbreaks on or around college campuses.
  • 43 clusters (10 new and 33 ongoing) occurred at child-care centers or youth programs not associated with a school.
  • 31 clusters (13 new and 18 ongoing) involved retail businesses.
  • 25 clusters (three new and 22 ongoing) linked to private social gatherings, such as a wedding, funeral or party.
  • 15 clusters (three new and 12 ongoing) were linked to bars or restaurants.
  • 10 clusters (one new and nine ongoing,) were at health-care sites, which would include hospitals, medical and dental offices, dialysis centers and other facilities providing health-care services.
  • Nine clusters (two new and seven ongoing) linked to an outdoor community exposure like a concert, rally, protest, parade, etc.
  • Seven clusters (four new and three ongoing) in office settings.
  • Six clusters (all ongoing) associated with religious services.
  • Five clusters (one new and four ongoing) linked to personal services, such as a hair and/or nail salon, or a gym or spa.
  • Five clusters (three new and two ongoing) in jails and prisons.
  • Four clusters (all ongoing) at homeless or other shelters.
  • Four clusters (all ongoing) at migrant camps or other agriculture workplaces, such as food-processing plants.
  • Three clusters (one new and two ongoing) linked to an indoor community exposure such as a concert, meeting, etc.

Outbreaks will be removed from the database if there are no additional cases through a 14-day period, state MDHHS officials have said.

State officials note that the chart does not provide a complete picture of outbreaks in Michigan, and an absence of identified outbreak in a particular setting is not evidence that the setting is not having outbreaks.

“Many factors, including the lack of ability to conduct effective contact tracing in certain settings, may result in significant under-reporting of outbreaks,” the state’s website reads.

For more statewide data, visit MLive’s coronavirus data page, here. To find a testing site near you, check out the state’s online test finder, here, send an email to [email protected], or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Read more on MLive:

What we know at this point about natural immunity to COVID-19

442,000 unemployed Michiganders lose benefits this week: Common questions answered

Fauci says COVID vaccine booster shot approval for all adults likely within weeks

Safety concerns, trust in immune system among reasons for COVID vaccine holdouts