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University of Michigan data show steep increase in COVID-19 among youth as school resumes

Counties without school mask mandates saw the largest increases
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:46 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - New data from the University of Michigan show a significant increase in COVID-19 case rates among children and teens over the three weeks that public school districts across the state resumed classes.

From Aug. 18 to Sept. 8, the birth to 11 years old age group saw a 57% increase in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases while the 12 to 18 years old age group saw a 96% increase in new cases. The next highest age group increase was 19 to 30 years old, which was up 12%.

U of M researchers say increases in COVID-19 case rates are highest in counties that haven’t imposed face mask mandates for schools.

In Michigan, 229 school districts with over 756,000 students are requiring face masks this fall while 304 districts with over 496,000 students are not or haven’t released that information. Over 60% of K-12 students across the state are covered by a mask mandate.

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks tied to schools nearly tripled from Sept. 3 to 9. There were 37 school outbreaks on Sept. 3, but that increased by 71 over seven days to 108.

Child care and youth programs saw a 25% increase in active outbreaks from 37 to 46 over the same time period. That means 80 new COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan have been reported in environments with children from birth to age 19.

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