Michigan Adds 191 New COVID-19 Outbreaks in Oct. 18 Report

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Michigan health officials identified 191 new outbreaks of COVID-19 last week, an increase of nearly 19% from the previous week.

In addition, the Department of Health and Social Services Weekly Epidemics Report noted 593 ongoing epidemics as of Monday, October 18. That’s a cumulative total of 784 outbreaks – a 3.4% increase from last Monday.

More than half of the new outbreaks were related to K-12 schools (101), while 34 were reported by long-term care facilities, 15 were related to child care programs, and 11 were associated with manufacturing / construction environments.

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 epidemic total is likely an undercount.

Throughout the pandemic, an outbreak has generally been defined as a case in which two or more cases are linked by location and time, indicating shared exposure outside of a household. However, Michigan recently changed this definition to “three or more cases” when referring to schools, in an attempt to “promote cohesive relationships between states.”

Below is an interactive map of the active COVID outbreaks noted in the School Outbreaks Report from October 18. 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): 106 clusters, with 25 new outbreaks and 81 ongoing.
  • Region 2N (Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties): 105 clusters, with 42 new outbreaks and 63 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 2S (City of Detroit and Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties): 70 groups, with 20 new outbreaks and 50 ongoing outbreaks.
  • Region 3 (Saginaw, Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw, Arenac, Gladwin, Midland, Bay, Genesee, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac and Huron counties): 164 clusters, with 31 new outbreaks and 133 ongoing.
  • Region 5 (Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties): 49 clusters, with 14 new outbreaks and 35 ongoing.
  • Region 6 (Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties): 161 clusters, with 41 new outbreaks and 120 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): 76 groups, including 12 new and 64 ongoing epidemics.
  • Region 8 (Upper Peninsula): 53 clusters, with six new outbreaks and 47 ongoing outbreaks.

By category, the households totaled:

  • 420 clusters (101 new and 319 ongoing) in K-12 schools or colleges. A total of 412 outbreaks involved K-12 schools, the remaining eight outbreaks on or around college campuses.
  • 148 groups (34 new and 114 ongoing) in long-term care facilities, which include qualified nursing and assisted living facilities, adult daycares and group homes.
  • 46 clusters (11 new and 35 in progress) were linked to manufacturing or construction sites.
  • 37 clusters (15 new and 22 ongoing) occurred in daycares or non-school youth programs.
  • 25 clusters (four new and 21 ongoing) involved retail businesses.
  • 18 clusters (eight new and 10 ongoing) related to private social events, such as a wedding, funeral or party.
  • 17 clusters (five new and 12 ongoing) in prisons and prisons.
  • 14 clusters (one new and 13 ongoing) were at health care sites, which would include hospitals, doctor’s and dental offices, dialysis centers and other facilities providing health services.
  • 12 clusters (one new and 11 ongoing) were linked to bars or restaurants.
  • 12 clusters (two new and 10 ongoing) in offices.
  • Five clusters (two new and three ongoing) in homeless and other shelters.
  • Three clusters (one new and two ongoing) related to personal services, such as a hair and / or manicure salon, or a gym or spa.
  • Three clusters (one new and two ongoing) associated with religious services.
  • Two clusters (both ongoing) linked to an indoor community exhibition such as a concert, a meeting, etc.
  • A group being carried out in migrant camps or other agricultural workplaces, such as food processing factories.
  • An ongoing cluster linked to an outdoor community exhibit such as a concert, rally, demonstration, parade, 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.

Learn more about MLive:

Research the 2020 Non-COVID Vaccination Rates for Michigan Schools and Daycares

Michigan’s COVID-19 case count is 3 times higher than the same time last year. Why? And does anyone care?

Schools that require students to wear masks report fewer cases of COVID-19, UM study finds

Second-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine recommended by the FDA Advisory Committee


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