Reimagine Learning Update Part 2: Health Update - 10/14/20
Transcript of Reimagine Learning Update Part 2
I'm back again to talk about COVID-19 metrics and some of our other considerations and give you an update on our new reporting system for our cases. So let's just dive right in. So first we'll start off reviewing the October 9th metrics, then we will get into trends, which I think are that really illustrate more what's going on in the community versus the point in time. Then we'll talk about some of the other considerations that are part of the metrics page. And specifically tonight, we're going to look at school outbreaks in Michigan and the ever-bubbling issue of campus cases and age data. Then I will share our AAPS COVID-19 case dashboard and take your questions and answers. So first let's take a look at the dashboard. This was put up last Friday. We'll be doing these weekly. Again, the purpose of the dashboard is to inform decision making. Several public commentators tonight talked about the metrics being too strict. And I do want to point out that, the revised metrics that were presented and approved by the board in September 30th were actually allowing this broader range of consideration.
So specifically, when we compare ourselves to other counties and States that new cases per million in new cases, per a hundred thousand, we added a category of consideration which makes it not quite as strict. And that was based on the feedback that we received and consultation with a couple of epidemiologists and our county medical director as well. So another change that you'll see on the dashboard this week is that we've added some other considerations, again, based on community feedback. The new COVID hospital admissions and new confirmed COVID-19 deaths. I look at that every single week. It doesn't need to go into the dashboard itself, but it's something that we're considering, every week and personally, I like to see some data collection and at some point there will be a system for this and the number of people who are having long-term effects from COVID-19 so they've technically recovered, but they're having long-term symptoms that can be quite debilitating.
Alright, so now let's take a look at the actual metrics you can see that we had in Washtenaw County last week, we were flat and flat to up with the state of Michigan. And since we, you know, retrieved the data last Friday, we've seen Michigan continue upward we're in category C with the cases per million. And we noticed that the state of Michigan moved to orange for the new cases per a hundred thousand. So I also just want to make sure people understand that the bulk of the data in the dashboard comes from the, MI safe start map, which is generated, it's a project of U of M school of public health and school of information. It's a great resource for us. We do see continuing wonderful low trends in our positivity rate as well. So this will all get a little easier to dive into when we start looking at trends.
So we're going to look at trends for all of those metrics, I just mentioned. So first we'll talk about cases per million, which is actually how we determined that top trend line for the dashboard. I do want to point out here that our original aim for with seven and once we expanded it, we're also, we're going up to 40 cases per million as a consideration for making the decision to return so that has made it less, a little bit less strict, but still within safety guidelines that we've researched. So we have the information by county region and state and all three of our dates that we've retrieved data. So, I do want to point out we had a really happy day on September 16th, thinking that maybe we were, we were looking at a time period where we would be able to open it was that recent that we had that thought and sort of this hope and optimism. Unfortunately, right after that, we saw the cases in the county do a pretty significant upswing. They've come back down a little bit as of last Friday, they're still higher than we need to be the cases per million. The region also was looking pretty good there on September 16th, and it's been higher than we're comfortable with since then. I am concerned about what's happening in the state and if people are following this, we are seeing cases increase in the state and you know, that doesn't necessarily directly impact our decision, but it's part of our world that we need to pay attention to.
Okay, so let's move on to cases per a hundred thousand and I'm just repeating a couple of things you've already heard for anyone who's kind of new and watching. We do cases per a hundred thousand sort of as a check to the other data. This is a different data source. It's the Harvard Global Health Initiatives COVID-19 dashboard, and it's pulling data a little bit faster. But you know, different, I've mentioned this before in previous presentations, there are pros and cons to different data sources. So the good news is that this reflects the trends that we saw on the previous slide for cases per million. Again, we're looking at county and state, they don't look by region anymore, or they just don't at all. And again, we have our aim for, and then we have our consider and, you know, you can see we were, we were really going in the right direction on September 16th for this particular measurement. So we haven't been that far from where we need to be, I think is a main point. I am trying to make, we've been on this rollercoaster locally, and we just started riding it a little bit at this time.
So, the positivity rate is really good news for us locally. We've seen a consistent, low positivity we're aiming for no more than 3%, and we've just been really nailing that really well. So that's great.
So let's talk about some of the other considerations and that's in that bottom part of the, the data dashboard itself. The school outbreaks are it's important to us to see how others are going. How are other school districts doing? What do we observe about their outbreaks? One of the public commentators tonight said there haven't been outbreaks in private schools and that's not true. We had a pretty significant private school outbreak over the past week or two, that has happened. And I think there are other private schools where classrooms have been quarantined and things like that. So also the consideration of campus cases is also on a lot of people's minds. So we just want to address that as well. So let's look at school outbreaks. There is a relatively new report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that provides once a week, a listing of all of the cases where transmission happened on school campus in the previous week. So there are a lot of issues with this, but it's a great way just to see what's going on kind of roughly high level. One of the issues is that it's only lab confirmed cases, and we know that there are a lot of cases that are probable and a probable case is a public health definition of someone who's showing the COVID-19 symptoms, and they have a known exposure to a lab confirmed case. So, we know that there are a lot of probable cases they're tracked at the county level. They're not part of this report, unfortunately. Another thing that's a little tough about this is that they have mixed staff and students together. So we get cases, we can see some of them are staff, some of the number of students, but then there's also this option for people to say both. So we can't fully tease out that information. The report only counts transmission that occurred on school property. So you could have several people who are actually infected with the virus, entering a school or a school campus, leaving transmitting elsewhere off campus. And, it would not be reflected in this report. So all of that said, it's still is helpful for us to take a look at this.
And we have, we can start understanding how school outbreaks are going in the state, and this is available, it's publicly available to anybody. So let's take a look. So we have been, capturing the data on a weekly basis. So we have three data points, September 26th, October 5th, and then just two days ago, October 12th. So this slide shows the number of schools with outbreaks. So on the left side of the little cluster of bars is the new outbreaks. These were identified in the past week as new outbreaks, are only counted one time, so they're not double counted and ongoing. So you see we're across the state. We're seeing you know, 19 - 20 schools with outbreaks, the ongoing pre-K 12 school outbreaks that those are, schools that were identified in a previous report and they are still having cases. And that the timeframe for the still having cases is 28 days. So this is where I get you know, I think it it's a different way to look at it. So an ongoing, we are seeing an increase part of that is due to this 28 day window. You know, of course, part of it is because cases are spreading. So it's something for us to try to understand together. I have a way to look at actual cases, and this is something that I think could be really helpful for us. So first, we have our, on the left hand side this is from the Monday report. So this is a point in time. The information I'm giving you now is a point in time. We're not looking over several weeks. So we're looking at one report, which was two days ago on October 12th. So that report had 346 cases. And again, these are both student and staff cases new in the past week, before the report, there were 66 cases and there were 280 ongoing cases. So I've defined them here on this slide for you. So I think it's interesting to look at what levels the cases are going on, which are shown in the pie chart on the right. So we have almost half of them in high school, but the rest are both in pre K to elementary and middle school. So I think, you know, we've heard over and over again, Oh, you can't get it at an elementary school. Well, you know, we do have some data now that show that there have been some outbreaks and have led to cases and pre-K to elementary level, and of course we'll keep monitoring this and and see where it goes.
Let's move on to our campus and age considerations. We know from September 24th to October 7th, which was last Thursday, it goes to this two week, Thursday to Thursday, 80% of our cases in the County, were in 18 to 22 year-olds. And we can see that zip codes near U of M are showing more, much more of an impact. So the question is, will there be spill over to other parts of the community? And you know, we have to consider that question with our partners at universities and our partners at the health department, and looking as Dr. Swift mentioned in her opening remarks about looking at how things are going in our peer, small town, big university districts.
One study that came out on Friday that I think is helpful to us is a really large study published by the CDC in their mortality morbidity and mortality weekly report. And they looked at 767 hotspot counties. So these are counties where they had significant surges in cases. So obviously this is a huge section of America, right? So they looked at percent positive positivity and the age ranges as those hotspots developed. So who was getting it first, then who got it then who got it. So what they found was that early increases in the positivity rate of people who are under 24 often predicted a surge in cases in those 25 and over. So this was more noticeable or more evidence for it in the South and the West, but they were actually able to boil it down to days, average number of days after the surge in cases and young people, there would be a 31 day timeframe. And then our older age groups would start in seeing increase in their infections. So I just think it's important for us to, to consider different perspectives and data and research from trusted sources as we move forward.
So, let's talk a little bit about AAPS, our recent cases and how to access the dashboard. So, Monday all schools across the state have to present publicly and in a way that people can easily find it on their websites, their COVID-19 case data. So we have done that. We have there's a 24 hour window when we hear of a new case, either lab confirmed or probable, we have 24 hours to get it into our data dashboard. The cases are both students and staff. So if people go right now, you can find it. It's a headline on our homepage. We have the cases listed out by number of cases per building, total cases since October 12th, because as we update this, it's going to show new cases and then you'll see a total at the bottom. We're including the number in quarantine, just try to be as transparent as possible. It's not a requirement. And it's a little challenging sometimes for us to know, because it's the health department who puts people in quarantine, but we're going to try it. We're going to see if we can do it with accuracy. And we also list the actions taken by the school district. So, one really important thing is that this is not a notification system to people who may have had an exposure risk. This is just public accounting of the cases, and anybody can go to any school district and private school and charter school and look and see and make sure they also have this publicly posted.
The other thing is, it's important for the community not to make assumptions when they see data. So for example, right now we have three cases at one school. So you might assume, Oh, they're all connected to each other, but that is not necessarily the case at all. And so I would just encourage people to try not to make assumptions or speculate about it.
So, with each case, we are learning, we're learning and we're making needed changes to our protocols and procedures. I want to say a humongous thank you to the Washtenaw County Health Department for their assistance, especially over the past week. They have really helped us quite a bit, and I'm not going to get into specifics except that they're really doing the hard work, the hard pandemic work of contact tracing. So, I just want to publicly acknowledge how they've been really, really helpful to us.