LANSING, Mich. — Michigan health officials are recommending – but not requiring – masks and social distancing for schools this upcoming fall.
They say the goal is to reduce disruptions to in-person learning and help protect those who are not fully vaccinated, according to a news release Friday.
“I am pleased with the progress of our vaccination efforts in Michigan, with 56% of Michiganders age 12 and older having received at least their first dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “These vaccines are the reason transmission of the virus in Michigan is at the lowest point in a year. However, as the school environment brings together large groups of individuals who may not yet be vaccinated, MDHHS is issuing this guidance to help protect Michiganders of all ages.”
Schools can also layer multiple prevention strategies developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce transmission of the virus within school buildings.
MDHHS recommendations include:
- Promoting COVID-19 vaccination for eligible staff and students
- Correctly and consistently using well-fitted masks that cover the nose and mouth
- Encouraging students and staff to stay home if sick or having COVID-19 symptoms and encouraging them to get tested for the virus
- Conducting screenings
- Implementing contact tracing and quarantine, collaborating with local health departments
- Promoting handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes
- Routine cleaning to help maintain healthy facilities
- Avoiding crowded and/or poorly ventilated indoor activities.