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Dr. Khaldun: High school students made up for 49% of current COVID outbreaks being investigated

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Posted at 7:11 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-15 19:13:52-05

(WXYZ) — State health leaders joined Gov. Whitmer in announcing new restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus over the next three weeks.

“The entire state is seeing an alarming increase in cases. COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire,” MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said during Sunday evening's press conference.

RELATED: Whitmer announces '3-week pause' to include ending in-person dining, closing movie theatres & more

Over that time, high schools are now required to move to remote learning.

Khaldun said that within Michigan schools, high school students make up an overwhelming portion of positive cases. Out of 200 outbreaks currently being investigated in the state, high schoolers make up 49% of those outbreaks.

With 980 total outbreaks in the state currently being investigated, almost 2/3 of individual cases are associated with high schoolers, Khaldun said.

RELATED: MHSAA suspends fall sports tournaments, winter sports amid 3-week pause

When Gov. Whitmer was asked why middle and elementary students weren't included in the three-week, temporary restriction, the governor stated that ultimately individual districts have the power to implement remote learning for lower grades. The reasoning behind focusing on high school is because congregating older students tend to be more at risk of spreading the virus. Older students are able to learn easier, compared to younger grades, while doing online work, she added.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

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