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'We want to make sure students are staying in school.' MDHHS updates quarantine guidance for students

Posted at 6:36 AM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 06:36:07-05

(WXYZ) — Schools in Michigan and across the nation have become ground zero for the spread of COVID-19.

Positive cases and close contacts amongst students have led to 10-day absences for students and teachers waiting on test results in order to return to the classroom.

The director of the state's health department says when it comes to infection rates, "we are not near the peak yet. We will continue to go up."

High community transmission is expected to last for another two to three weeks according to Director of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Elizabeth Hertel.

That's why the state is updating its quarantine and isolation guidance for schools.

RELATED: MDHHS shortens quarantine, isolation guidance for students and staff at K-12 schools

The new recommendations are as follows:

  • If a student or a teacher tests positive with no symptoms they should monitor for symptoms and isolate at home for 5 days. If symptoms have improved, they can return to school while wearing a well-fitted mask for 6 to 10 days.
  • Those who have had close contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for up to 5 days and take a test if possible on day 5.

Nurse practitioner Sarah Rauner says after a covid infection your child's immune system is weak. She says that's why parents and school staff have to pay close attention to the timing of symptoms and include testing as a focal strategy.

"I tell the parent use your best mom or dad or guardian judgment and think would I want someone else sitting next to my child if they were actively coughing or actively just had a fever yesterday," Rauner said.

Rauner and Hertel say this guidance works better when more people are vaccinated. Right now kids 5 and up are eligible for the first two shots and those 12 and old can now get their booster.