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State reports 24 new school outbreaks since last week

David Wilson/Flickr

More than 80 schools and universities in Michigan are now experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19, according to the latest update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The department reported 24 new, and 63 ongoing outbreaks at schools Monday afternoon. More than 4,000 students and staff have tested positive for the virus, more than 90% of which were at colleges and universities.

For Michigan’s pre-K-12 schools, there are now 58 total outbreaks and 291 positive cases.

The state says these numbers don’t represent the full picture of coronavirus outbreaks and schools in the state, and that some outbreaks or cases may not be reported.

One possible positive sign in the update provided Monday is that the number of new cases at some colleges and universities appears to have slowed over the past week.

That includes Grand Valley State University, which has seen a total of 879 positive cases, according to the state. The university is under an emergency order from the Ottawa County Health Department, which limits indoor gatherings to no more than four people.

“We are seeing a decline of positive cases,” says Kristina Weighmink of the Ottawa County Health Department. “However that does not mean that we need to let up on what we’re doing. What we’re doing is working. So we need to make sure that we continue to do the physical distancing from one another, wearing your face cloth covering and frequently washing your hands.”

A total of 3,896 positive cases have been reported at colleges and universities since the pandemic began, according to the state. Michigan State University has the highest number of cases at 1,420. 

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Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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