MDHHS issues guidance for parents with children exposed to COVID-19

Michigan

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) tweeted about increased guidance resources for parents with children exposed to COVID-19.

MDHHS recently released updated precautions that discuss things like quarantine versus isolation, when a student exposed to COVID-19 can stay in school and school testing opportunities.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommends local health departments and schools work together to quicky 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. When evidence-based prevention measures, including universal masking, are in place, modifications may be made to the 10- to 14-day at-home quarantine.

Now, what is isolation, what is quarantine- and how are they different?

According to MDHHS, isolation is necessary when one has already been infected with the COVID-19 virus, has tested positive- even if they aren’t showing symptoms. Quarantine is needed when one has been exposed to COVID-19.

Both quarantine and isolation are determined by local health departments, so quarantine factors may be modified.

What are the updated school quarantine guidelines?

There are three situations in which a student can have been exposed to COVID-19, and go to school without quarantining:

  • A fully vaccinated student (regardless of whether they wore a mask) who came
    in close contact with a COVID-positive student.

    The exposed student can remain in school if they wear a mask and monitor
    symptoms for 14 days after their exposure. Students who were not wearing a mask,
    or if they were within 3 feet when they were exposed, should test for COVID-19
    once on day 3, 4, or 5 after their last exposure to the COVID-positive student. If the
    exposed student tests positive, then the student should isolate and follow
    directions from their local health department.
  • A student who was masked and exposed to a COVID-positive student who was
    also masked in an indoor school setting, so long as the students remained at
    least 3 – 6 feet apart.

    • The exposed student can remain in school if they continue to wear a mask, but they
    should monitor symptoms for 14 days following the 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 3 feet
    apart and the student tests daily.

    • The exposed student can remain in school if they wear a mask. They should
    monitor symptoms for 14 days and test daily before coming into the school
    building for the 7 days following the exposure. They should continue to monitor for
    symptoms for a total of 14 days following the exposure.
    • The exposed student should work with their school district and local health
    department to determine options available for daily testing. If the student cannot
    complete daily testing for 7 days following the exposure, the student should not
    remain in school and should follow the guidance below.

Additionally, there are situations where students have been exposed to COVID-19 should not return to school:

  • If the exposed or infected student, or both were not wearing a mask.
    Unvaccinated students who are unmasked are more likely to become ill because they
    are more likely to have been exposed to larger amounts of virus.
    • The exposed student should not remain in school, and instead the student should
    quarantine at home for 10 days following the exposure.
    • They may return after day 10 if they have not had any symptoms during
      those 10 days. They should continue to monitor for symptoms for a total of
      14 days following the exposure.
    • They may after day 7 if they test negative that day and do not have
      symptoms. They should continue to monitor for symptoms for a total of 14
      days following the 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 3 feet
    apart and the student does not test daily.

MDHHS goes on to state that anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 and isolate.

To see testing resources information, click here.

For the latest information on Michigan’s response to COVID-19, please visit
Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. You can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 535-6136 or
email COVID19@michigan.gov.

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