Updated COVID-19 reporting from the Michigan Health and Human Services Department shows a notable increase in the number of school districts and colleges dealing with confirmed cases. K-12 districts with at least two cases have almost doubled in the last week, from 28 to now 46. But while the headlines proclaim outbreaks are occurring, we have to remember that the term outbreak is used when there are as few as two cases reported in a district or college. The state is now keeping track of district-wide cases and making the data available to us online.

But even the most sophisticated reporting systems are not perfect.  The Galesburg- Augusta Community school situation is a good example. The district is now deep cleaning buildings and staying with online education at least through tomorrow after a handful of cases were confirmed.  But the district numbers are not showing up on the state’s reporting page, which is said to be updated by midafternoon every Monday.

The page shows a marked increase in schools and colleges with more than two confirmed cases over the past week. In the case of Michigan State University where the entire study body is under lockdown orders,  the number of confirmed cases is now just shy of 1,300.  Also locked down is Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids, which is now reporting over 850 cases. Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo has over 450.

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