COVID-19 outbreaks reported at school districts in multiple states as virus cases spike


School districts in multiple states have reported COVID-19 outbreaks among students and staff and some districts and schools that have returned to in-person learning are being forced to temporarily return to online-only as cases of virus infections spike across the country.

Outbreaks in Michigan have been reported at 161 K-12 schools and 31 colleges, according to data released Monday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

M Live reports that nearly 5,000 students and school employees have contracted coronavirus through school-related outbreaks at K-12 schools and colleges. 

The bulk of the cases involve outbreaks on or around college campuses, where thousands have contracted the virus. Data also includes 817 students and staff who've contracted the virus through outbreaks reported at schools that serve preschoolers through high schoolers. 

According to Detroit Free Press, there were 20 new outbreaks reported this week at Michigan elementary schools, including 69 cases. Meanwhile, there were 18 new outbreaks at high schools with 65 cases. 

The Indiana State Department of Health released data Monday showing that as many as 5,916 students, 1,235 teachers and 1,429 staff members across the state have tested positive for COVID-19.

A rise in COVID-19 cases across Indiana has led to central Indiana school districts to close some schools and buildings, according to The Indy Star.

In Alabama, the Mobile County Health Department announced Monday that there are 15 schools across the county that are dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19.

Dr. Rendi Murphree of the Mobile County Health Department told NBC 15 that that community transmission is partly to blame for the virus’ transmission to children and young adults.

“We’re just seeing COVID in those younger populations that are going to do well with COVID, but they are the ones that potentially are going to spread COVID to their loved ones inadvertently,” Murphree was quoted as saying. “They don’t even know they’re shedding virus.” 

In New Jersey, the Cherry Hill School District announced Monday that it has been made aware of three dozen new positive coronavirus cases among children aged 7-18 at multiple schools in the district.  

The district suspended the implementation of its hybrid learning plan until Nov. 30 and will announce any future changes to the return date. 

The Phillipsburg School District in New Jersey announced that its schools have transitioned to remote learning after 15 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Superintendent Gregory Troxwell said in a letter dated Nov. 8 that the school will aim to return to hybrid learning on Nov. 19.

In Washington state, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has reported that there are at least seven COVID-19 outbreaks at its schools. However, information has not yet been made public as to how many cases involve students or staff, according to The News Tribune

In Maryland, some school districts decided to put their hybrid-learning plans on hold as cases of the coronavirus increased statewide.

One such school district is Harford County, located north of Baltimore, which announced this week that it will return to complete virtual learning on Friday, according to WBAL

In New York, students attending three Rensselaer County school districts and a private school have tested positive for COVID-19, with one high school being forced to go back to remote learning for the rest of the week, according to The Times-Union

In Virginia Beach, Virginia, public school district leaders are contemplating whether they want to follow through with their plan to return to in-person learning this Thursday as COVID-19 cases are rising in the area. 

According to 13NewsNow, school administrators will present health data to the school board on Tuesday night and discuss the possibility of postponing the return to in-person classes. 

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

or Facebook: SamuelSmithCP

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