State to follow new definition for reporting Michigan school outbreaks

Posted at 12:40 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 12:42:30-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human services will be following a new definition of “outbreak” for school outbreak reporting, according to the state’s website.

They note they are adopting the new Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ national, standardized definition that sets the requirements for classifying outbreaks in K-12 schools.

The new definition classifies an outbreak as having multiple cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers or staff within a specified core group or at least three cases within a specified core group.

The new definition will be applied moving forward, but will not be applied to historical data, the state says, which had a lower threshold of 2 or more COVID-19 cases connected to a school.

Here is the full definition:

educational institutions (i.e., grades K-12) that have been found by their local health department to have multiple cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers, or staff, within a specified core group OR at least three (3) cases within a specified core group meeting criteria for a probable or confirmed school-associated COVID-19 case with symptom onset or positive test result within 14 days of each other; who were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting (i.e. household) outside of the school setting; AND epidemiologically linked in the school setting or a school-sanctioned extracurricular activity are considered outbreaks. COVID-19 cases who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households are included. Case counts for school-related outbreaks include those associated with before and after school programs (e.g., school-sponsored sports).