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Ann Arbor Public Schools: Some COVID cases at Pittsfield Elementary result of school outbreak

Ann Arbor Public Schools administrative building
Ann Arbor Public Schools administrative building

ANN ARBOR – In her weekly update to Ann Arbor Public Schools community on Friday, Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift said there is evidence of COVID transmission within Pittsfield Elementary.

As of Friday, AAPS reported 50 cases across 23 schools and district locations, an increase from 42 total cases the week prior.

Swift said a school outbreak is defined by “three cases within a subset of school-associated cases where the most likely place of exposure is determined to be the school setting or a school-sanctioned extracurricular activity.”

More: Tracking COVID outbreaks in Michigan schools, colleges

Pittsfield Elementary was temporarily closed last week due to increased COVID cases and a large portion of students absent due to mandatory quarantines. Pittsfield reported 5 confirmed COVID cases on Oct. 1 and 4 confirmed cases on Oct. 8.

As of Oct. 8, PK-Elementary and High Schools had the highest number of cases, with 19 and 20, respectively.

In an Oct. 7 update, Swift said that some students who test positive after exposure to COVID in school may not appear on the dashboard.

“Some students identified as close contacts based on classroom exposure, particularly at the elementary level, have tested positive while in quarantine,” she wrote. “Often these students do not appear on the district dashboard because they were not in school while contagious.”

In that same update, Swift explained why AAPS has decided to continue 10-day and “7 day with negative test” quarantines as opposed to the Test-to-Stay policy currently practiced by other schools in the county.

“‘Test to Stay’ programs have a relatively narrow focus: only students who are close contacts from the school bus and core classrooms are eligible,” wrote Swift. “Students who are close contacts from elsewhere during the school day, including PE, some special classes, the cafeteria and some extracurricular activities, are not able to ‘Test and Stay.’ Second, as noted in the previous section, some close contact students in the district have tested positive while in quarantine.

“With the high number of cases impacting our buildings, it is not yet advisable to implement a ‘Test to Stay’ program at this current time. AAPS will consider implementing such a program when the current student case surge decreases.”

To view the AAPS COVID case dashboard updated weekly on Fridays, click here.

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Correction:An earlier version of this story stated that multiple school buildings were experiencing COVID outbreaks. AAPS has clarified that the only school outbreak in the district is at Pittsfield Elementary.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.