The state of Michigan has changed its standards for reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in schools. With the change of this week, a comparison with the previous week is not exact
The previous definition had a lower outbreak definition threshold, requiring at least two school-associated COVID-19 cases. The new epidemic definition threshold may exclude certain circumstances, which previously met the definition.
Still, outbreaks in Oakland County schools remain low with four new outbreaks for the week of September 27 to October 1. The number of cases has doubled from 8 to 16, but, again, the standards are different this week. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports outbreaks in schools every Monday.
Cases statewide have increased from 614 to 456; with state epidemics at 95 from 108 a week ago.
Schools in Oakland County with new outbreaks are Lake Orion High School (seven cases among students), Holy Family Regional School in Rochester Hills (three among students), Berkshire Middle School in Beverly Hills (three among students and staff) and Troy Union Elementary (three among the students).
Six Oakland County schools continue to have ongoing outbreaks: Cranbrook (two cases), Avondale GATE Magnet (two outbreaks, 11 cases), Walled Lake Western (two cases,), Lake Orion’s Blanche Sims Elementary (three cases among students and staff), Keller Elementary in Royal Oak (four cases) and Holy Family Regional School (four cases) in Rochester Hills.
Ongoing outbreaks are those that had already been identified in the previous weeks but for which at least one new associated case was reported to the local health department in the past 28 days. Outbreaks are removed from the list when there is no new confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 identified 28 days after the last known school exposure of a case.
With the new definition of the epidemic, the local health department must find multiple cases that include at least 10% of students, teachers or staff within a specified group. Or, at least three cases within a specified unit group that meet the criteria for a probable or confirmed school-associated COVID-19 case with onset of symptoms or a positive test result within 14 days apart; who have not been identified as close contact with each other in another setting outside of the school setting; AND epidemiologically related to a school setting or a school sanctioned extracurricular activity are considered epidemics.