State must follow new definition for reporting Michigan outbreaks in Michigan

(WXYZ) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will follow a new definition of “outbreak” for reporting school outbreaks, according to the state’s website.

They note that they adopt the new, standardized definition of the new State Council and the territorial epidemiologist of territorial epidemiologists, which sets the requirements for the classification of outbreaks in K-12 schools.

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

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

Here is the full definition:

educational institutions (ie grades K-12) that their local health department has found to have multiple cases involving at least 10% of students, teachers or staff within a particular core group OR at least three (3) cases within a specified core group that meet the criteria for a probable or confirmed school-associated COVID-19 case with symptom onset or positive test result within 14 consecutive days; which were not identified as close contacts in other surroundings (ie household) outside the school; AND epidemiologically connected in the school environment or a school-sanctioned leisure activity is considered an outbreak. COVID-19 cases that may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households are included. The number of cases of school-related outbreaks includes those associated with pre- and post-school programs (e.g., school-sponsored sports).

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