For the first time since the state started reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan schools, the total number of ongoing outbreaks is lower than the previous week. This week the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced 35 new outbreaks, bringing the total to 260 ongoing outbreaks.

The 260 COVID-19 outbreaks are down from last week's 271 outbreaks in Michigan schools, which is signaling that the remote learning mandate for high schools and colleges may be working.

The new outbreaks include 12 pre-school and elementary schools, 7 junior highs, 11 high schools, 2 colleges, 1 administrator building, and 2 uncategorized schools.

There are high school outbreaks this week than in several weeks prior, but that is mainly due to the "Pause to Save Lives" epidemic order that mandates virtual learning.  If schools return to in-person learning after the mandate is lifted on December 8th, expect the number of outbreaks to begin to climb again. We should most likely see another decline in the number of outbreaks next week because of the virtual learning mandates.

As far as whether students or faculty are accounting for the bulk of the positive cases, it is unclear but appears to be a mixed bag.  The way the state reports the positive cases is only whether they are from students, staff, or both.  So, if there are 10 cases at a school and it affects both students and staff (listed as both), it does not determine how many cases are from students vs staff.

You can check out the list, updated every Monday at 3 pm, via Michigan.gov's coronavirus dashboard.

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