K-12 schools and long-term care facilities account for nearly half of all COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As outbreaks continue to rise across the state, pushing Governor Gretchen Whitmer to move the entire state back into phase four of the MI Safe Start plan, outbreaks are particularly rising in school and long-term care facilities.

Together, K-12 outbreaks and long-term care facilities account for 205 COVID-19 outbreaks, or 46% of all of the outbreaks in the state.

Currently, health officials documented at least 446 ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

The state health department is reporting 99 outbreaks (new and ongoing combined) at K-12 schools, including classrooms, before and after school programs and other school-related activities.

State health officials are reporting 106 outbreaks (new and ongoing combined) among long-term care facilities in the state.

Nearly one-third of the COVID-19 outbreaks at K-12 schools are occurring in region 6, where 29 total COVID-19 outbreaks were recorded among the following counties: Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties.

The full list of school-related outbreaks can be viewed on Michigan’s Coronavirus School-Related Outbreaks page here.

You can view all of the outbreak-related data on Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.

Today’s COVID-19 report

Health officials today reported 3,168 additional cases due to COVID-19 in Michigan with 11 new deaths.

The state COVID-19 total is 174,388 and the death toll is 7,309.

Yesterday, a network connectivity issue delayed the data pull for Thursday, October 30, so some of the cases that would have been counted in today’s totals were not included.

As a result, today’s coronavirus report is not as accurate as it would be.

More info on Phase 4: “Improving”

This phase occurs when the number of new cases and deaths has fallen for
a period of time, but overall case levels are still high.

This phase occurs when the number of new cases and deaths has fallen for a period of time, but overall case levels are still high. When in the Improving phase, most new outbreaks are quickly identified, traced, and contained due to robust testing infrastructure and rapid contact tracing.

In contrast, phase five occurs when the number of active cases has reached a point where infection from other members of the community is less common.

Similarly, in phase five, positivity rates fall much lower than earlier phases, which the state is now seeing an increase in. Michigan currently has 172 cases per million people and the positivity of tests has increased from about 2% to 5.5% and both indicators have been increasing for over four weeks. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have doubled over the last three weeks while the state death rate has increased for five consecutive weeks.

Local changes to gathering order

Locally, some things have changed around the East Lansing-Lansing area.

Today, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor  signed Executive Order 2020-06 stating that Lansing City Hall and City owned buildings will remain closed to the public until January 11, 2020, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

City Hall and City buildings will remain accessible to the public by appointment only. The City Clerk’s offices in City Hall and at South Washington Office Complex will remain open to the public for voting purposes through November 3, 2020.

“The number of positive cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in Ingham County and restricting the number of people in City facilities will help keep both our City employees and residents healthy,” said Mayor Schor. “We continue to monitor the situation and will reevaluate when City facilities can safely reopen to the public in the new year.” 

In East Lansing, Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail issued an emergency order mandating that no more than ten people may gather outdoors in parts of East Lansing, including the downtown area.

The area was previously restricted to 25 people under an emergency order issued by Vail in August. The ten-people maximum applies to the restricted area stretches from the northern edge of the Michigan State University campus to Burcham Drive and is bounded by Harrison Road to the west and Hagadorn Road to the east, including properties adjacent to those streets.

County and city officials identified the area based on the frequency of noise ordinance violations historically occurring in the area due to large house parties.

“COVID-19 cases are growing rapidly in many parts of the state, and large social gatherings are a driving force,” said Vail. “By further reducing the size of gatherings in this section of East Lansing, we may prevent local outbreaks associated with Halloween and football-related gatherings. Based upon observations and citations issued under the previous emergency order, stricter gathering controls are necessary.”

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