By Jon King /

Numerous coronavirus cases have been reported in local school districts, with reports of dozens of students and staff members undergoing quarantine as a result.

On Tuesday, Howell Public School reported they had been notified that a Highlander Way Middle School staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the district’s website, an additional confirmed case was reported Wednesday at Howell High School, becoming the fourth confirmed case involving the district since Sunday. Several sources have reported to WHMI that dozens of students, perhaps as many as 50, have had to undergo quarantine because of the recent test results. When asked to confirm that, HPS Spokesman Tom Gould declined to comment. However, the district says it continues to work in partnership with the Livingston County Health Department to monitor the situation and will continue to follow all guidance regarding it.

Meanwhile, Charyl Stockwell Elementary in Hartland Township was also informed Wednesday that a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19 and that the last day the staffer was at the school was Friday, October 30th. Another confirmed case was reported Sunday, according to the district’s website. CSA officials said they were in the process of identifying close contacts and working to get that list to the Livingston County Health Department as quickly as possible.

In addition, St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Brighton reports out of our 42 staff members, only one has tested positive and one student out of 458 who have tested positive. Principal Carley Dumphey said that in all there are, “13% of students who are also quarantining at home for a range of reasons including a family member in the same household testing positive for COVID.” She added that as a school community, “the health and wellbeing of our students and staff is paramount. That’s why our school’s Safe Re-Opening Plan, published in August in accordance with the local health department’s COVID guidelines and approved by the Diocese of Lansing, contains provision for students and staff being able to step back from in-person learning as and when required – so we remain both vigilant and prepared to manage the realities of this ‘new normal’ to which many families, schools and other organizations across Michigan are now becoming well accustomed.”

The reports come as local health officials say they have been tracking a “dramatic” increase in COVID-19 cases across the county, mostly among older individuals aged 50-60 years. They note the increase in continued community transmission among older individuals has the potential to have major impacts on both in-person schooling and hospital capacity. Livingston County continues to be in the second highest risk level (“D”), as seen on the MI Safe Start Dashboard.