BARRY AND EATON COUNTIES — The Barry-Eaton District Health Department issued two emergency public health orders Friday, requiring masks in schools and detailing quarantine and isolation procedures for schools and other educational settings in the counties.
Per the orders, everyone in educational settings – regardless of vaccination status – is required to “consistently and properly wear a facial covering while inside any enclosed building or structure of an educational institution or vehicle of an educational institution.”
In addition, schools and everyone in educational settings will need to adhere to isolation and quarantine measures after identification of close contacts, household exposures or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Those procedures are outlined here.
“The Board of Health respects [Ms. Scrimger’s] decision and refuses to engage in divisive political theater that changes no minds and overturns no orders,” said Ben Geiger, chair of the Barry-Eaton District Board of Health, which governs the health department. “For the sake of our children, our families and our public health staff, let’s move forward with respect, empathy and civility.”
Barry and Eaton counties have seen large increases in sick and quarantined school-age students.
The Barry-Eaton District had a 219% increase in new cases among 0- to 17-year-olds when comparing the two-week period of Aug. 1-14 and the two-week period of Aug. 29-Sept. 11.
In addition, health officials say, children under 12 are too young to receive the COVID-19 vaccines and “further contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in schools.”
With mandatory full masking, schools will have the option to implement any of three quarantine protocols for non-household exposures less than three feet:
- No Test: Quarantine for a full 10 days from exposure
- One Test: Receive a negative COVID-19 test taken on post-exposure day six or seven and return on day eight
- Daily Test: If a school implements an approved testing protocol, student can attend school if they receive a negative daily rapid test. Students and staff with household exposures are required to quarantine for 10 days after the last day of exposure to the COVID-positive household member. People who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine.