Michigan campuses report more than 930 Covid cases since August

September 08, 2020, 8:52 AM

Two broadcast journalists report a dramatic number after looking at coronavirus postings from state campuses:

Michigan colleges and universities have reported more than 930 Covid-19 cases since the start of August, according to publicly available numbers compiled by Michigan Radio.

That number is likely an undercount because many private universities do not post regular coronavirus updates on their public websites.

U-M reports 59 positive Covid tests on the Ann Arbor campus since Aug. 23.
(Photos: University of Michigan)

The count includes students and staff members.

Grand Valley State University west of Grand Rapids has 271 confirmed cases as of Monday -- the largest total, according to coverage by Dustin Dwyer and Will Callan.

The University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus has reported 89 positive cases since the start of August, according to the university’s dashboard.

Michigan Advance, an independent news site, today posts a commentary by two U-M infectious disease specialists. Under the headline "Campus outbreaks of Covid-19 were almost guaranteed," Ryan Malosh and Nina Masters write:

The inevitable has come to pass. Now, many college campuses will struggle to control their outbreaks because there are a lot of unique challenges inherent to Covid-19 in this population. ...

Students are not kept under lock and key. They have visitors from other schools. They go back and forth to their parents' homes. And, yes, they go to parties.

To us, blaming students for wanting a normal-ish college experience when the schools themselves have set the tone for trying hard to return to normal isn't fair.

Katherine Wright, a sociology doctoral candidate, tweets this photo Tuesday. "UM Works Because We Do," say the signs.

In related news, U-M graduate students working as teaching assistants and in other jobs today began picketing in heavy rain to protest face-to-face education. 

Members of the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO), who belong to the American Federation of Teachers union, describe their action as a four-day strike. "GEO membership ... is prepared to withhold our labor in pursuit of a safe and just campus for all," the union says in a release. It represents over 1,000 employees.

Goals include "transparent and robust testing, contact tracing and safety plans for the campus; support for graduate student instructors working remotely; an option to switch to remote from hybrid/in-person" instruction. 

A university statement says a strike is illegal:

Read more:  Michigan Radio

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