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Starting today, State of Michigan will post school outbreak information with school names and case numbers

Starting today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will begin reporting outbreak information by school building. The department says they’ll do this in an effort to provide information about COVID-19 in Michigan schools in an accurate and timely fashion.
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 4:39 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The state health department unveiling new data on Monday. It’s aimed at making sure parents know exactly what the risk is for their kids as outbreaks occur in schools.

There will now be a master list of all schools with outbreaks from elementary-aged students all the way through the college level.

“It allows them the awareness to know what is happening in their schools. If there is cases of COVID-19 in the school, they are aware of it. They can see this information. They may likely have already been notified by the school or heard about it, but this is just kind of a big list and provides them with all the information with what’s going on around them," Lynn Sutfin said to ABC12 in a phone interview.

Sutfin is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She says they’re reporting the name of the school, the address, how many cases, and whether the cases involve students, staff, or both.

One Facebook user responded to our post asking if this data would be useful. The user, saying in part, “I am not a parent, but a grandparent. Many grandparents are raising their grandchildren and could be at risk also.”

However, just because your school is on the list...

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that the school isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do as far as its returning-to-learn plan. It just means this is what has happened so far, and we do know that there are cases in that school," Sutfin said.

This is just another tool for parents, but just because your school isn’t listed, doesn’t mean they haven’t seen a case. There may be a delay before that information makes its way to the state.

“This doesn’t mean that there may not be COVID-19 in that school, that there could not be the risk of exposure, so we still need everybody to take those precautions," Sutfin said.

Ones like wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, and staying home if you’re sick.

To access the data, go to the state department’s main coronavirus page and scroll down to “Cumulative Data.” Then click “School-Related Outbreak Reporting.”

You can find that link by clicking here.

Expect weekly updates on Monday around 3:00 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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