Michigan data shows schools are leading source of new COVID cases

There are more than 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan

There have been 364 outbreaks and clusters in K-12 schools and 104 schools have been impacted by lost school time from illness or quarantine.
There have been 364 outbreaks and clusters in K-12 schools and 104 schools have been impacted by lost school time from illness or quarantine.

DETROIT – Michigan reported 8,413 new cases of COVID-19 and 83 virus-related deaths Friday -- an average of 4,206.5 cases over the past two days.

More than 80 Michiganders died due to COVID over the same time period.

Oct. 8, 2021: Michigan reports 8,413 new COVID cases, 83 deaths -- average of 4,206.5 cases per day

As COVID numbers continue to rise in Michigan, it turns out there’s a new frontline. According to a new study, schools are by far the top spreader of the virus.

“Until vaccines are approved for that age group, it’s going to continue to be a problem,” said Dr. Mark Navin, professor of bioethics at Oakland University. “Masks are still necessary.”

Read: Pfizer requests emergency use authorization for COVID vaccine in children

Educators are worried for their students and colleagues as nearly 60% of new COVID outbreaks in Michigan in early October were in K-12 schools.

“It comes down to the need for immunizations for the kids,” Navin said.

New data from the state reveals 375 children under 12 are becoming infected with COVID-19 every day.

There have been 364 outbreaks and clusters in K-12 schools and 104 schools have been impacted by lost school time from illness or quarantine.

“We’re going to be living with it for a while,” Navin said. “I think it’s eventually going to be endemic, which is why vaccination, masking and distancing are going to be necessary to keep our kids safe and to keep them in school.”

As more children get infected, mask mandates continue to be a hot button issue for school districts across the state.

Related: Tracking Michigan school districts, colleges requiring masks for 2021-2022 school year

As of Oct. 1, 2021, COVID outbreaks caused three school districts in Michigan to close entirely, 12 schools to close, five grades to close and 34 classrooms to close.

“We’re engaged in a trade-off right now,” Navin said. “We know that school is good for kids, we know COVID is bad for kids and we’ve decided that a little bit of COVID is the price worth paying to have kids in school.”


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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.