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MDHHS issues quarantine guidance for asymptomatic students

Under the new guidance, a student exposed to COVID-19 can remain in school under specific scenarios.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued updated quarantine guidance for asymptomatic students. 

School quarantine guidance for asymptomatic students who were exposed to a student infected with COVID-19 varies depending on a variety of circumstances. The MDHHS says in all cases, the student who has tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate and follow the guidance of their local health department.

Any individual that displays COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should be tested and isolate as directed.   

Under the new guidance, a student exposed to COVID-19 can remain in school under the following scenarios:  

  • 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 COVID-19 three to five days 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.   
  • An unvaccinated 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 three to six feet apart, 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 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 tests daily,
    • 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 seven days following the exposure. They should continue to monitor for symptoms for a total of 14 days following the exposure. 
    • 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 seven days following the exposure, the student should not remain in school and should follow the guidance below. 

An unvaccinated student exposed to COVID-19 should not remain in school under the following scenarios:

  • If the exposed or COVID-positive student, or both, were not wearing a mask,
    • 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.
      • The student may return after day seven 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.

MDHHS is providing schools with antigen testing supplies free of charge through the MI Safe Schools Testing program. Schools and individual school districts can request antigen test kits through the Mi Safer Schools: School Antigen COVID Test Ordering form.

“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.”

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