LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s health department, for now, will not mirror new recommendations from U.S. officials reducing isolation restrictions for people infected with the coronavirus from 10 days to five.
In a statement late Wednesday, the state Department of Health and Human Services said it will review supporting evidence for the guidance issued Monday. It also will wait for additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically for special populations and high-risk settings.
That may come early next week.
“In the interim, MDHHS will retain current quarantine and isolation guidelines including guidelines for K-12 and congregate care settings,” the agency said.
That means students who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 10 days after getting sick or 10 days after the test if they have no symptoms.
The state and federal recommendations, while not binding, are used by local health departments. Several have issued orders spelling out isolation and quarantine rules. Violators can face civil and criminal penalties.
Norm Hess, executive director of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, said many health departments are reevaluating their orders or recommendations for schools and the general public.
“Some local health departments will wait for this additional guidance, while others will move ahead based on the information they know,” he said.
Kent County, for instance, said it is aligning with the CDC protocols but noted the guidelines may not apply to schools, congregate settings, or those working with people in high-risk groups. Ingham County adjusted its order for schools to incorporate the five-day isolation and quarantine periods.
Michigan, already grappling with a surge of infections fueled by the delta variant, is bracing for the more contagious omicron variant. It may be milder, though data is limited.
The state on Wednesday recorded case counts that shattered the record, reporting nearly 13,000 a day — almost a third more than the peak set over a year ago.
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