COVID-19 Health Metric Decision Points

  • COVID-19 Health Metric Decision Points for In-Person Instruction

    What is the purpose of the COVID-19 Health Metric Decision Points for In-Person Instruction?
    The Health Metrics are measures of prevalence of COVID-19 in Ingham County. The target numbers in the chart represent assessments by public health professionals of when it may be appropriate to return to in-person instruction in our buildings. The target numbers are one factor in a decision to return to in-person instruction. Other factors include the readiness of all safety protocols to mitigate exposure and transmission of the coronavirus and our ability to deliver our curriculum through in-person and online modalities.

    What is “Test Positivity”?
    Test Positivity is the percent of tests for COVID-19 that are positive on a given day. This metric can measure increases and decreases in the prevalence of disease if the number of daily tests performed is consistent. Public health professionals want the number of daily tests to be in excess of 1500 per million population. In Ingham County, this per capita testing number equates to about 440 tests per day. In the month of October 2020, Ingham County has performed 900-1,100 tests per day.

    What is “New Cases per Million”?
    New Cases per Million is a per capita measure of the number of COVID-19 cases with a date of onset on a particular day. This number is reported as a per capita, or per million population to make it easier to compare counties with different populations. In 2020, Ingham County’s estimated population is 293,551, so multiply the daily cases by 3.4 to get the per million case load. So, 150 cases per million would be about 44 daily cases in Ingham County. The New Cases per Million metric does change as new cases are assigned to a date of onset on a preceding day.

    What is a “7-Day Rolling Average”?
    A 7-day rolling average averages the metric values reported over 7-days, for example, Monday-Saturday and then rolls to Tuesday- Monday, then Wednesday-Tuesday, and so on. A rolling average “smooths out” fluctuations in a metric that have nothing to do with what the metric is trying to measure. For example, fewer tests are conducted and diagnosed on Sunday, so a decrease in the metric on Sundays is not a real decrease.

    What is the MI Safe Start Map?
    The MI Safe Start Map can be found at https://www.mistartmap.info/. The map reports the data reported to it from all of the counties in the state in a format that makes it easy to read and see how one county and region of the state compares to another. The map reports the Test Positivity and Cases per Million metrics that Haslett Public Schools is using in the Decision Points Chart. The Test Positivity and number of tests performed are measures that stay constant on the date reported. The Cases per Million metric needs to be monitored over time as the metric changes as new cases are added to a previous onset date.

    What is the County Health Officer Matrix?
    The Matrix is a document prepared for all the counties in the state to guide County Health Officers and School Districts on decisions to increase or decrease the intensity of in-person instruction in school buildings. The Matrix offers advice on addressing increasing and decreasing trends in cases and test positivity and other conditions specific to the county. Guidance is also organized based on whether there are “no cases” in the school buildings; cases but “no ongoing transmission”; or cases and “ongoing transmission.” The guidance addresses mitigation measures to reduce exposure and transmission and when the school may need to pause or suspend in-person instruction for a few days, 14 days, or 28 days or longer based on presence of COVID-19 in school building(s) or the county.

    What Metrics will support a decision to start Hybrid In-Person instruction?
    Haslett Public Schools started the 2020-2021 school year online on August 31 to establish proficiency for our students and staff to deliver the Haslett Curriculum online. COVID-19 metrics on test positivity and new cases per million will inform a decision to start in-person instruction in the hybrid plan with necessary safety protocols adopted in the Preparedness and Response Plan. Guidance from the County Health Officer Matrix suggests in-person instruction may occur with “no cases in the buildings” when the test positivity is less than 20% or the cases per million are less than 150. A return to in-person instruction at these metric values is also contingent on “reduced density” and use of strict mitigation measures. In Haslett Public Schools  “reduced density and strict mitigation measures” equates to the hybrid plan with everyone wearing face masks, maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing, frequent hand hygiene, cleaning and all the other safety protocols in the hybrid plan.

    When will Haslett Public Schools suspend In-Person Instruction because of COVID-19 conditions in Ingham County?
    There may be a time when COVID-19 will be so prevalent in Ingham County that it will be necessary to pause in-person instruction in our buildings. The Health Officer Matrix recommends pausing or suspending in-person instruction when the test positivity equals or exceeds 20% or the cases per million equals or exceeds 150. 

    When can Haslett Public Schools return to full, in-person instruction?
    Community spread of COVID-19 needs to be controlled to return to full, in-person instruction as one of the primary controls of community transmission is the 6 feet physical distancing mitigation measure. A generally accepted measure of controlled community spread is a test positivity consistently below 3% and new cases per million below 40.