UMich students were locked down for two weeks, data show it was unnecessary

Charles Hilu:

The Health Department of Washtenaw County, which governs the University of Michigan, recently put Michigan undergraduates under a “stay-in-place” order for two weeks. Once the order had expired, cases had slightly fallen in students, but they rose in older, more vulnerable populations, data show.

The October 20 order said “all U-M undergraduate students enrolled in U-M Fall 2020 on the Ann Arbor Campus, living in on-campus, near-campus or off-campus housing will be required to ‘stay in place’ and remain in their current designated residence.” The order ended November 3.

The results toward the end of the lockdown showed, however, that “cases among 18- to 29-year-olds in the county have decreased slightly, while there has been a steady rise in the infection rate in the 30- to 49-year-old age group,” wrote University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel in an October 30 email to students.

As Schlissel’s email noted, cases had decreased slightly among undergrads, but older populations in the county saw their cases rise despite the fact that students were sheltering in place.

Even the lockdown order had stated that “COVID-19 cases among 18-24 year-old persons, thus far in Washtenaw County, have not resulted in increased hospitalization or death rates. Additionally, thus far, the increased incidence in 18- to 24-year-old persons has not been linked to increased incidence in other populations in Washtenaw County.”

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

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“An emphasis on adult employment”

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