University daily, weekly COVID-19 case numbers break records


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Medical personnel sit at desks, and one talks on the phone Aug. 23 while they prepare for the COVID-19 testing clinic in the Bovee University Center. Students are required to get vaccinated, or undergo weekly testing upon returning to campus.

Central Michigan University has broken the daily and weekly records for COVID-19 halfway through the second week of classes.

Weekly COVID-19 cases have risen to 147 in the week of Jan. 16-22 - the highest CMU has ever recorded. Additionally, a new record was set for daily cases on Jan. 17, with 55 cases reported in a single day. 

“The latest increase in positive COVID-19 cases within our campus community was expected and, although the spike in numbers is unsettling, we are prepared to monitor the associated risks," director of University Communications Aaron Mills said in a statement.

The previous weekly record was 112 cases during the week of Nov. 9, 2020. The daily records have steadily increased since the start of the semester. Last fall's record was 36 cases reported on Sept. 19.

"As cases increase, so too do the number of individuals choosing to receive vaccinations and/or boosters, which offer the strongest protection against serious illness," Mills said. "University leaders will continue to monitor the virus trends on our campus and in our local community, assessing the number of new cases and active cases, percentage of total population, capacity of isolation and quarantine facilities, and status of health care providers in the area."

Western Michigan University reported 212 cases - about 1% of students - during its first week of classes, with an average daily rate of 42.4 positive cases.

Larger universities such as the University of Michigan saw higher COVID-19 cases with 979 cases reported in the week of Jan. 16 - 22 - about 2% of students. Michigan State University reported 546 cases in its first week of classes - about 1% of the student population.

Both universities have a vaccine mandate. MSU began their semester in a virtual format.

Western Michigan University COVID-19 policy, like CMU, requires students to be tested unless fully vaccinated, including a booster shot.

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