Emergency order requires Michigan schools to disclose coronavirus cases within 24 hours

State health department issues orders to prevent COVID-19 spread

A worker checks the body temperature of a student on her arrival at a primary school in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) (K.M. Chaudary, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan schools are now required to notify the public about any probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours under a new emergency order.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) director Robert Gordon issued an emergency order Tuesday that will requires K-12 schools to publicly disclose any probable or confirmed virus cases on their website within 24 hours of learning of the cases.

The order goes into effect on October 12, officials said.

“Recent outbreaks throughout the country demonstrate that COVID-19 can spread quickly in the school setting,” Gordon said. “Timely communication from schools to parents, guardians, students, teachers, staff and other persons affiliated with schools enables members of the school community to take measures to prevent spread of the virus.”

Local health departments will also be required to notify schools of any school-associated COVID-19 cases within 24 hours.

The MDHHS says local health departments will continue to conduct contact tracing and directly communicate with individuals who may have been exposed in addition to the schools' required public notices.

Tuesday’s order comes just after the MDHHS issued a new order Monday requiring face masks, restricting gathering sizes and limiting some businesses following the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her emergency powers. Monday’s emergency order maintains some of Whitmer’s orders that have been deemed invalid by the state Supreme Court’s decision.

Read: Coronavirus order chaos in Michigan: Here’s where things stand

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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.