LANSING, Mich. — Michigan health officials released updated quarantine guidance Wednesday for asymptomatic students, allowing those exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school under certain scenarios.
Under the new guidance, those scenarios include:
- A fully vaccinated student (regardless of whether they wore a mask) who came in close contact with a COVID-positive student can remain in school if they wear a mask and monitor symptoms for 14 days after their exposure. They should test for the virus three to five days after their last exposure to the COVID-positive student. If the exposed student tests positive, they should isolate and follow directions from their local health department.
- An unvaccinated student who was masked and exposed to a COVID-positive student who was also masked in an indoor setting, so long as the students were at least three to six feet apart. The exposed student can remain in school if they wear a mask, but they should monitor symptoms for 14 days following the exposure.
- An unvaccinated student who was masked and exposed to COVID-positive student who was also masked in an indoor school setting, but the students were less than three feet apart and the student tests daily.
- The exposed student can remain in school if they wear a mask and should monitor symptoms for 14 days and test daily before coming into the school building for the seven days following exposure. They should continue to monitor for symptoms for a total of 14 days after exposure.
- The exposed student should work with their school district and local health department to determine options available for daily testing. If the student can’t complete daily testing for seven days after exposure, the student should not remain in school.
The new guidance also outlined scenarios in which unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19 should not remain in school:
- If the exposed or COVID-positive student, or both, were not wearing a mask
- The exposed student should quarantine at home for 10 days after exposure.
- A student who was masked and exposed to a COVID-positive student who was also masked in an indoor school setting, but the students were less than three feet apart and the student does not test daily.
“When layered prevention strategies such as masking, social distancing, testing, isolation and quarantine are applied consistently, school-associated transmission of COVID-19 is significantly reduced – which keeps kids in the classroom so they can learn,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said. “However, if someone is exposed to COVID at schools, it’s important for them to follow quarantine guidance to prevent spread to other children.”
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.
“The best protection against COVID-19 are the three safe and effective vaccines we have available, and we urge all eligible Michiganders to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “As many of our students are too young to be vaccinated, masks are an important tool to prevent the spread of the virus and allow for in-person learning to continue uninterrupted.”
Anyone who shows symptoms of the virus – regardless of vaccination status, should be tested and isolate as directed.