MDHHS updates quarantine, isolation guidance for schools

ces has updated its school quarantine and isolation guidance for kindergarten through 12th grade to reflect recent adjustments by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that modifies or shortens the periods to as few as five days in some circumstances.

MDHHS continues to recommend universal masking in school settings. This guidance aims to help schools maintain in-person learning through mitigation strategies when students, teachers and staff are exposed to a COVID case in school.

The MDHHS defines isolation and quarantine as:

— People isolate when already infected with COVID and have tested positive, even if they do not have symptoms.

— People quarantine when they might have been exposed to COVID. This is because they might become infected and could spread COVID to others.

It also defined test-to-stay and mask-to-stay practices as:

— Test to stay is testing every other day for six days after the exposure and consistent and correct use of a well-fitted mask.

— Mask to stay is the consistent and correct use of a well-fitted mask when around others and in school and public settings.

An overview of COVID isolation guidance for schools

Students, teachers and staff who test positive for COVID and/or display COVID symptoms should isolate regardless of vaccination status, according to the MDHHS.

— If positive with no symptoms, monitor for symptoms from day of exposure through day 10 of isolation; and isolate at home for five days. Day zero is the day symptoms begin or the day the test was taken for students, teachers and staff who do not have symptoms; and

— If symptoms have improved or a person continues to have no symptoms, return to school while wearing a well-fitted mask, for days six through 10; or

— Stay home for 10 days if unwilling/unable to wear a mask.

People who have a fever should stay home until they are fever free for a period of 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

An overview of COVID

quarantine guidance for schools

Close contacts of a COVID case do not need to quarantine at home if they:

— Had a confirmed case of COVID within the past 90 days; and/or

— Are up to date on all recommended COVID vaccines for which they are eligible.

These contacts should still monitor for symptoms and mask to stay for 10 days from the date of last exposure.

Close contacts of a COVID case who do not meet the criteria above need to quarantine or may test to stay and/or mask to stay.

Exposed individuals may:

— Home quarantine for days one through five. If feasible, test on day five and mask for days six through 10; or test for days one through six and mask to stay for days one through 10; or

— Home quarantine for days one through 10 if unable/unwilling to mask.

Students, teachers and staff should monitor for symptoms throughout quarantine, days one through 10. Day zero is day of last close contact with any COVID positive student, teacher or staff. If symptoms develop, get tested.

Symptom monitoring

During days zero through 10 after exposure:

— Watch for symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or other COVID symptoms.

— If symptoms develop, get tested immediately and isolate until receiving test results. If test is positive, then follow isolation recommendations.

— If symptoms do not develop, get tested at least five days after last exposed.

— If possible, stay away from others in the home, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID.

— For the full 10 days after last exposure, avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings

For more information, go to Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. To find a vaccine, go to VaccineFinder.org.


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