LANSING, Mich. - To help ensure Michigan students and educators are as safe as possible in the classroom and keep students in school for in-person learning, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued updated quarantine guidance.
"When layered prevention strategies such as masking, distancing, testing, isolation and quarantine are applied consistently, school-associated transmission of COVID-19 is significantly reduced - which keeps kids in the classroom so they can learn," said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. "However, if someone is exposed to COVID at schools, it's important for them to follow quarantine guidance to prevent spread to other children."
MDHHS recommends local health departments and schools work together to quickly isolate COVID-19 cases among students and staff, identify close contacts of those cases and adopt quarantine policies that reduce the risk of transmission in schools while allowing in-person learning. When evidence-based prevention measures, including universal masking, are in place, modifications may be made to the 10- to 14-day at-home quarantine.
"The best protection against COVID-19 are the three safe and effective vaccines we have available, and we urge all eligible Michiganders to get vaccinated," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. "As many of our students are too young to be vaccinated, masks are an important tool to prevent the spread of the virus and allow for in-person learning to continue uninterrupted."
School quarantine guidance for asymptomatic students who were exposed to a student infected with COVID-19 varies depending on a variety of circumstances. In all cases, the student who has tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate and follow directions from their local health department. Any individual that displays COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should be tested and isolate as directed.
Under the new guidance, a student exposed to COVID-19 can remain in school under the following scenarios:
An unvaccinated student exposed to COVID-19 should not remain in school under the following scenarios:
MDHHS is providing schools antigen testing supplies free of charge through the MI Safe Schools Testing program. Schools and individual school districts can request antigen test kits through the Mi Safer Schools: School Antigen COVID Test Ordering form. MDHHS will be leveraging our partnership with Intermediate School Districts to help distribute COVID-19 antigen tests based on the orders placed in the School Antigen COVID Test Ordering Form. Questions about test supply orders can be sent to your Intermediate School District and any other school testing related questions can be sent directly to MDHHS at MDHHS-COVIDtestingsupport@michigan.gov
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
For more information about COVID-19 in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus.
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