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Coronavirus outbreaks in Michigan schools are on the rise

Posted at 10:05 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 22:05:47-04
(WXYZ) —

Coronavirus outbreaks in Michigan schools are on the rise.

Newly released data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that 27 schools have new outbreaks, tallying just under 100 cases. While ongoing school outbreaks now include 93 schools, tallying over 5700 cases. What might be behind the uptick in cases?

We shouldn’t be too surprised - because when our community case numbers are up, that means there are more chances that the virus will end up in our schools.

Now, the state count includes Kindergarten through grade 12 plus colleges and universities. Reasons why the virus is spreading faster vary based on age groups. For instance, if you have young kids as I do, you know they are not the best at following directions.

They love to gather in groups, eager to talk and play with each other. Most of the time, they’re not even thinking about the virus. Whereas teenagers and college students, on the other hand, they often think they’re invincible. Their brains are still developing and they don’t always think logically. So when all these students are in school, where it’s imperative that they follow safety protocols, it can be challenging. Add in the fact that kids have snack and lunch breaks. And that provides more opportunity for the virus to find new hosts when kids take off their masks to eat, especially if they are not social distancing.

Will schools will have to close again?

That’s the million-dollar question. Right now, we are in uncharted territory. There is no playbook.

School districts are doing what they think is best. For those who have in-class instruction, some of them have had to temporarily close due to these outbreaks. That is happening nationwide and in other countries as well. Here’s what I feel is most important, we have an opportunity right now to flatten the curve.

What we’re seeing now is the results of what took place two or three weeks ago. So let’s talk with our kids and regularly remind them to wear a mask, disinfect or wash their hands, and to social distance. Most children are not going to get severely ill from the virus, but I can’t say that about grandma or grandpa or anyone with underlying health issues. Let’s join together as a community, and follow safety protocols so that we can keep the schools open and virus transmission at a minimum.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.