Ottawa, Kent county health departments release COVID-19 guidelines for schools

Virus Outbreak Schools
Posted at 11:19 AM, Aug 06, 2021

WEST MICHIGAN — The administrative health officers of Ottawa and Kent counties have partnered to issue public health orders addressing COVID-19 prevention in schools.

The orders – which are identical for both counties but issued separately by jurisdiction – detail the requirements for isolation, quarantine and reporting for all educational institutions in Kent and Ottawa counties.

Effective Friday, Aug. 6, they expire when rescinded by the respective health department, according to a news release.

The goals of the public health orders, based on the most recent facts about the virus, are to protect vulnerable individuals and people who are not yet vaccinated, reduce transmission of COVID-19 in schools and minimize interruptions to in-person learning.

Highlights of the orders include:

  • Anyone identified as confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases must isolate for at least 10 days as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Household close contacts of confirmed or probably COVID-19 cases are required to quarantine as described by the CDC.
  • Anyone in an educational setting in close contact with a COVID-19 case involved in an outbreak is required to quarantine as described by the CDC.

Schools are also required to outline and publish their COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2021-22 academic year.

They must also notify the school community and their respective public health departments of any subsequent changes to the prevention strategy.

Health departments also “strongly recommend” schools follow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services guidance for schools and the CDC’s guidelines.

RELATED: MDHHS releases updated COVID-19 guidance for schools, recommends masks

Public health officials say they’ll continue to monitor the pandemic situation and “will respond accordingly to best protect their communities.”