Michigan health officials shorten isolation and quarantine guidance for K-12 schools

COVID-exposed person no longer requires isolation if student has had COVID in past 90 days or is fully vaccinated

The new guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services wants students to isolate from home for five days. If students are asymptomatic, meaning they do not have symptoms, they could return to school as long as they wear a well-fitted mask for six to 10 days.

DETROIT – This new guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is just that, guidance.

School districts can still make their own decisions.

“These are all things best decided locally, ensuring that all your stakeholders are a part of it,” Michigan Education Association union President Paula Herbart said. “It should not just be a superintendent and a school board deciding that it doesn’t work or deciding that it does work. It really has to have educators and parents.”

Read: Michigan health officials update COVID guidance for K-12 schools

The new guidance from the MDHHS says that you should isolate for five days if you test positive for COVID. Then, if you don’t have symptoms, you can return to school as long as you are wearing a well-fitted mask for six to 10 days.

Close contacts to a COVID-positive person no longer requires isolation If the student has had COVID in the last 90 days or is fully vaccinated. If neither applies, then they may test to stay and mask up.

School districts in Metro Detroit have tried the truncated isolation guidelines. Some have said it just doesn’t work for them, such as Southgate schools. A letter went home to Southgate parents saying the district is going back to 10 days of isolating after testing the five-day period because of logistics.

“What might be the best way in the upper peninsula might be very different than the way they handle it in metropolitan Detroit,” Herbart said.


Read: Michigan reports 44,524 new COVID cases, 56 deaths -- average of 14,841 cases per day


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.