COVID Outbreaks Jump 31% in Michigan’s Sept. 20 Report

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Michigan health officials identified 583 active outbreaks of COVID-19 last week, up 31% from the previous week, when there were 444.

The outbreak report on Monday, September 20, included 175 new groups, including 98 related to K-12 schools. Other prominent facilities noted in the state health department’s weekly report were long-term care facilities (18), child / youth care programs (14), and manufacturing / construction (new).

The remainder of the report included 408 active and ongoing outbreaks identified in previous weekly reports. These include the same main settings, as well as retail, social gatherings, and restaurants.

An outbreak is generally defined as an instance in which two or more cases are linked by location and time, indicating shared exposure outside of a household.

Some settings, such as nursing homes and youth programs, are easier to track outbreaks because of the testing requirements. Others, like social gatherings, bars and restaurants, are more difficult. Thus, the state warns that its number of epidemics is probably lower than the reality.

New outbreaks have been reported in 36 counties including Allegan, Bay, Calhoun, Clinton, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Genesee, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Iron, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb , Marquette, Mecosta, Menominee, Midland, Missaukee, Monroe, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oakland, Ogemaw, Osceola, Ottawa, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw and Wayne.

Below is an interactive map of the active COVID outbreaks noted in the School Outbreaks Report for September 20. Hover over a colored dot to see the school and how many cases were linked to the given outbreak.

Can’t see the map? Click here

Outside of K-12 schools and colleges, the MDHHS does not identify specific locations or the number of coronavirus cases. However, it lists information by eight health district regions in the state. (Note that these regions have different numbers than the MI Safe Start plan.)

By region, the distribution of clusters:

  • Region 1 (Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston and Shiawassee counties): 98 clusters, with 19 new outbreaks and 79 ongoing.
  • Region 2N (Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties): 61 outbreaks, with 16 new outbreaks and 45 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 2S (City of Detroit and Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties): 65 groups, with 29 new outbreaks and 36 ongoing epidemics.
  • Region 3 (Saginaw, Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw, Arenac, Gladwin, Midland, Bay, Genesee, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac and Huron counties): 105 clusters, with 24 new epidemics and 81 ongoing epidemics.
  • Region 5 (Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties): 69 clusters, with 25 new outbreaks and 44 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 6 (Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties): 99 clusters, with 33 new outbreaks and 66 ongoing.
  • Region 7 (Counties of Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Ilse, Cheboygan, Emmet and Charlevoix): 37 groups, including 14 new and 23 ongoing epidemics.
  • Region 8 (Upper Peninsula): 49 groups, with 15 new outbreaks and 34 ongoing epidemics.

By category, the households totaled:

  • 227 clusters (98 new and 129 ongoing) in K-12 schools or colleges. A total of 218 outbreaks involved K-12 schools, the remaining four outbreaks on or around college campuses.
  • 106 clusters (18 new and 88 ongoing) in long-term care facilities, which include skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities, adult daycares and group homes.
  • 49 clusters (nine new and 40 in progress) were linked to manufacturing or construction sites.
  • 49 clusters (14 new and 35 ongoing) occurred in daycares or non-school youth programs.
  • 34 clusters (five new and 29 ongoing) involved retail businesses.
  • 21 clusters (four new and 17 ongoing) related to private social gatherings, such as a wedding, funeral or party.
  • 18 clusters (five new and 13 ongoing) were linked to bars or restaurants.
  • 13 clusters (four new and nine ongoing) related to an outdoor community exhibit such as a concert, rally, demonstration, parade, etc.
  • 11 groups (six new and five ongoing) were at health care sites, which would include hospitals, medical and dental offices, dialysis centers and other facilities providing health care services.
  • 10 clusters (one new and nine ongoing) in prisons and prisons.
  • Eight clusters (two new and six ongoing) in offices.
  • Six groups (one new and five ongoing) associated with religious services.
  • Five clusters (one new and four ongoing) in migrant camps or other agricultural workplaces, such as food processing factories.
  • Four clusters (two new and two ongoing) related to personal services, such as a hair and / or manicure salon, or a gym or spa.
  • Four clusters (all ongoing) in shelters for the homeless and others.
  • Two clusters (both ongoing) linked to an indoor community exhibition such as a concert, a meeting, etc.

Outbreaks will be removed from the database if there are no additional cases within a 14-day period, state officials from the MDHHS said.

State officials note that the graph does not provide a complete picture of outbreaks in Michigan, and the absence of an outbreak identified in a particular setting does not prove that the setting does not have outbreaks.

“Many factors, including the lack of the ability to perform effective contact tracing in certain settings, can lead to significant underreporting of outbreaks,” the state’s website read.

For more statewide data, visit MLive’s coronavirus data page, here. To find a testing site near you, check out the state’s online test finder, here, email [email protected], or call 888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

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