‘Put the data out there’: Macomb County parents call for transparency in school COVID outbreak reporting

County health department issues statement in response to parent concerns

Macomb County parents call for transparency in school outbreak reporting

DETROIT – A local parent organization is pressuring Macomb County health officials to provide more details for COVID-19 school numbers in the area.

Amanda Angst is one of many parents insisting the Macomb County Health Department can do a better job of releasing COVID numbers when it comes down to students in the classroom.

“Right now as it stands, parents are being left in the dark. We’re a couple of weeks into the school year and parents are questioning the data. We should be able to have access. This is a parent’s right to know what is going on in the schools,” Angst said.

Angst is a part of the organization Macomb County Parents for Safe In-Person Schools, a group that has been pleading with the county officials to display the school COVID numbers online, district by district.

Related: Tracking COVID outbreaks in Michigan schools, colleges

“We have two districts in Macomb County that are not yet reporting any data. We have ten districts not disclosing how many students and staff have been quarantined,” Angst said.

The group has sent this open letter to Macomb County Director and Health Officer Andrew Cox asking for all the details to be broken by several categories in terms of districts in the area. Angst is just hoping it makes a difference.

“I would call on every leader from Macomb County, from the health department to executive Mark Hackel to release the transparency and provide the data. Let the parents make the sound decisions. Put the data out there. Make it transparent for everyone,” said Angst.

In response to the concerns the Macomb County Health Department issued the following statement to Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit:

“We fully understand and appreciate parents’ concerns regarding school COVID-19 mitigation strategies, and, along with the Macomb Intermediate School District as well as Macomb County school districts, are working to promote a safe educational environment. Like all local health departments, we report school-related COVID-19 information to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, who includes the information on the dashboard on their website,” the statement read.

Michigan reported 7,185 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 2,395 cases over a three-day period.

Of the deaths announced Monday, nine were identified during a review of records.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 995,910, including 20,700 deaths. These numbers are up from 988,725 cases and 20,665 deaths, as of Friday.

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About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.