Michigan university embracing 'personal freedom and individual responsibility' has largest new campus Covid cluster

September 13, 2021, 5:17 PM by  Alan Stamm

There's a dramatic jump in education-related Covid clusters in Michigan, weekly state data shows.

Seventy-one schools and colleges added two or more Covid cases, a nearly 44% jump in the number of sites reporting new infections since Labor Day (when 31 new clusters were listed). 

New students arrive Aug. 20 at a Midland residence hall. (Photo: Northwood University)

Figures are from 67 public and parochial schools, which have 312 student and staff cases first identified during the past week. In addition, four higher education campuses have 34 new student cases -- including 25 at Northwood University in Midland, the biggest outbreak.

That private school doesn't require that students and staff be vaccinated and masked indoors. "We continue to encourage everyone at Northwood to take care of themselves and others," President Kent MacDonald told faculty and staff at a semester-star breakfast three weeks ago.

"In line with our Northwood values of personal freedom and individual responsibility, we are not mandating vaccinations for students, faculty or staff before returning to campus this fall. Along with masking, our policy is 'neither required, both recommended, personal choices respected.'" 

The state defines an outbreak as "two or more Covid-19 cases who may have shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households. Case counts for school-related outbreaks include those associated with before- and after-school programs (school-sponsored sports)." College data "includes cases originating from on-campus and off-campus student housing."

The tricounty Detroit area reports 23 fresh cases at five schools in the past week -- 12 in Oakland and 11 in Wayne County:

  • Auburn Hills, Avondale GATE Magnet School: 8 students

  • Bloomfield Hills, Cranbrook: 2 staff members

  • Commerce Township, Walled Lake Western High: 2 students 

  • Grosse Pointe Farms, St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School: 6 students and staff

  • Belleville High:  5 students

These are the four campuses listed:

  • Northwood University: 25 students

  • Grand Valley State University: 4 students

  • Central Michigan University: 3 students

  • Alma College: 2 students

Full list from Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services


Covid Outbreaks Hit Renaissance High in Detroit and 3 Oakland High Schools, Sept. 7

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