State posts school COVID info, here’s what you should know

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has begun reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in school buildings on a weekly basis, with information released Mondays at 3 p.m.

According to a state press release, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more cases with a link by place and time that shows a shared exposure outside of a household.

Data published by multiple news outlets showed no outbreaks reported in Farmington Public Schools, or Walled Lake Consolidated Schools and Clarenceville Schools, which both serve portions of Farmington Hills.

In Oakland County, Oakland Christian Elementary School (Auburn Hills, 4 staff and students), Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac, 3 students), and Birmingham Groves Big Brother Big Sister Program (Birmingham, 2 students) reported outbreaks.

Data made public will include K-12, college and university school names, addresses, number of cases and whether the cases involved staff, students or both. It will not include students or staff exposed outside the school building who likely did not spread the virus in school due to quarantine or self-isolation.

Outbreaks may not be on the map

The press release noted that lack of effective contact tracing in some settings and other factors may result in underreporting of outbreaks. Schools experiencing an outbreak may not be listed in the weekly data.

“Parents and students should know that if their school is listed, their local health department and school are already investigating,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Based on that investigation, people are contacted individually if they were possibly exposed to COVID-19 at school.”

Oakland County has also begun providing district-level COVID-19 data, which is released every Thursday. The numbers show confirmed and probable cases identified within a district’s boundaries, but not within school buildings.

Between August 27 and September 9, 88 cases were reported within Farmington Public Schools district boundaries.

The county’s general data map shows 225 COVID-19 cases diagnosed over the past 30 days among the four major Farmington/Farmington Hills ZIP codes.

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