MDHHS releases streamlined school quarantine guidelines

Virus Outbreak Schools
Posted at 12:51 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 12:51:14-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan health officials issued on Friday streamlined quarantine recommendations for schools designed to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 among the school-aged population while reducing disruptions to in-person learning.

In addition to vaccination, MDHHS says layered prevention measures – including masking – should be put in place for consistent in-person learning that keeps kids, staff and families safe.

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 while allowing in-person learning.

“Schools have the ability to be safe now that children ages 5 and older can be vaccinated,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at MDHHS. “We continue to urge all eligible residents to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible as it is our best defense against the virus. Masks, distancing, quarantine and isolation are all additional strategies that keep our schools and public spaces safe.”

Health officials continue to recommend universal masking in all K-12 school settings.


Isolation is for those who are infected with COVID-19 and have tested positive, even if they do not have symptoms.

Meanwhile, quarantining is for those who may have been exposed to the virus.

Anyone who displays symptoms – regardless of vaccination status – should not attend school and should be tested for COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated contacts without symptoms do not need to quarantine.

For contacts who 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 but additional testing and mitigation strategies are used, contacts may participate in school activities at the discretion of the local health department.