MICHIGAN – Data unveiled on Monday showed the largest number of outbreaks since the first bell rang in September. Forty-five new school-related outbreaks with 149 cases, occurred in K-12 schools.
Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe and Utica schools are among the latest districts to temporarily halt in-person learning in response to rising cases of COVID-19. An exclusive meeting was held Friday morning, where the Bloomfield Hills Board of Education debated for about two hours before voting 5-2 to pause in-person learning for at least 21 days while they monitor the virus statistics. In recent days, other districts have responded to the growing caseloads.
To date, the largest outbreaks were happening at colleges and universities, but this week’s figures show all but one of them were in the elementary school system.
The state logged 21 outbreaks related to high schools, 17 in elementary schools, and six at junior highs and middle schools. Schoolcraft College logged three cases in the only outbreak this week related to a higher education facility.
“What we’re finding is anybody who is associated with a school – a student or a staff member who tested positive – virtually all of those exposures happened outside the school walls,” said Oakland County spokesman Bill Mullan. “We’re finding that wearing a mask and distancing and the hygiene and cleaning measures they have in place, thus far are being effective.”
Some districts will continue their in-person instruction, for now, noting few cases in their districts and successful safety protocols. Among them are Centerline, Detroit, Eastpointe, Flat Rock, Novi, Oxford, and Van Buren.
Flat Rock Superintendent Andrew Brodie said. “We will continue to monitor this daily and comply with all the Wayne County Health Division’s requirements around our mitigation strategies and reporting protocols.”