Michigan updates COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for schools

State continues to urge universal masking in schools

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2021, file photo, a student listens to the teacher's instructions at iPrep Academy on the first day of school in Miami. Tumbling COVID-19 case counts have some schools around the U.S. considering relaxing their mask rules, but deaths nationally have been ticking up over the past few weeks, some rural hospitals are showing signs of strain, and cold weather is setting in. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Michigan’s health department issued updated quarantine guidelines for schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as cases rise, especially among young residents.

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.

Related: Michigan health officials: Face masks recommended at all indoor gatherings amid COVID surge

When evidence-based prevention measures are utilized, such as vaccination, masking, and testing, students exposed to COVID-19 cases may not have to quarantine at home and can stay in the classroom.

MDHHS continues to recommend universal masking in all K-12 school settings.

Quarantine and isolation are determined by the local health department and are used as important tools to prevent the spread of disease.

  • You isolate when you are infected with COVID-19 and have tested positive, even if you do not have symptoms. Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected.
  • You quarantine when you might have been exposed to COVID-19. This is because you might become infected with COVID-19 and could spread COVID-19 to others.
  • Any individual that displays COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should not attend school and should be tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 School Quarantine Guidelines for Asymptomatic Students

  • Fully vaccinated contacts without symptoms do not need to quarantine.
  • Contacts that are not fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms:
  • If masking was maintained, contacts can participate in school activities if wearing a mask for 14 days after exposure and using a “Test to Stay” strategy*
  • If masking was not maintained, if additional testing and mitigation strategies are used, contacts may participate in school activities at the discretion of the local health department.

You can view the full guidelines here from MDHHS.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.