The state lifted its COVID restrictions on Tuesday, but the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is still recommending certain safety guidelines within school buildings.
Children under the age of 12 aren’t eligible to receive a COVID vaccine, and it was only approved for children ages 12-16 last month. As a result, MDHHS made some recommendations to help schools fight the spread of the virus.
“I am pleased with the progress of our vaccination efforts in Michigan, with 56% of Michiganders age 12 and older having received at least their first dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “These vaccines are the reason transmission of the virus in Michigan is at the lowest point in a year. However, as the school environment brings together large groups of individuals who may not yet be vaccinated, MDHHS is issuing this guidance to help protect Michiganders of all ages.”
MDHHS issued 12 strategies developed by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, saying the more of these schools adopt, the safer everyone will be.
Here are the recommendations:
- Promote vaccinations for eligible staff members and students.
- Use well-fitted masks that cover the nose and mouth. Click here to read the CDC’s official guidance for masks.
- Practice social distancing.
- Cohort students into groups to reduce potential exposures and reduce the size of possible outbreaks.
- Encourage students and staff members to stay home if they feel sick or have COVID-like symptoms.
- Encourage students and staff members to get tested for COVID if they have symptoms or if they aren’t fully vaccinated and are a close contact of someone who has COVID.
- Conduct COVID screening.
- Implement contact tracing and quarantine protocols, working with local health departments.
- Promote hand washing and proper mouth covering for coughs and sneezes.
- Clean regularly to help maintain healthy facilities.
- Avoid crowded or poorly ventilated indoor activities.
- Engage in outdoor activities when possible.