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State provides updated COVID-19 guidance for Michigan schools, recommends masks and social distancing

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 15:55:45-04

(WXYZ)  — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued updated COVID-19 guidelines for schools ahead of the fall semester.

According to the MDHHS, the recommendations are to reduce in-person learning disruptions and protect people who are not fully vaccinated.

Prevention strategies suggested by the MDHHS include:

  1. Promoting vaccination against COVID-19 for eligible staff and students [lnks.gd]. Vaccination has proven incredibly effective as the leading public health prevention strategy.
  2. Consistent and correct mask use
    1. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all educators, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
    2. CDC has recommendations for proper use of masks [lnks.gd]. [lnks.gd]
    3. CDC’s order requires [lnks.gd]all persons – regardless of vaccination status – wear masks on public transportation, including school buses.
  3. Physical distancing [lnks.gd] CDC recommends schools maintain at least three feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by students, teachers and staff, regardless of vaccination status. When it is not possible to maintain a three-foot physical distance, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking, screening testing, cohorting [lnks.gd], [lnks.gd] and improved ventilation to help reduce transmission risk.
  4. Screening testing [lnks.gd] identifies infected people, including those without symptoms who may be contagious, so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission or outbreaks.
  5. Ventilation
    1. Improving ventilation [lnks.gd] by opening multiple doors and windows, using child-safe fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows and making changes to the HVAC or air filtration systems.
    2. Avoiding crowded and/or poorly ventilated indoor activities (e.g., engaging in outdoor activities when possible).
    3. Open or crack windows in buses and other forms of transportation to improve air circulation, if doing so does not pose a safety risk.
  6. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette: Promoting handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes [lnks.gd].
  7. Staying home when sick and getting tested
    1. Encouraging students and staff to stay home if sick or having COVID-19 symptoms [lnks.gd].
    2. Encouraging students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, to get tested for COVID-19 if having symptoms [lnks.gd] or if they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
  8. Contact tracing [lnks.gd] in combination with quarantine: Collaborating with the local health department.
  9. Cleaning and disinfection: Cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove potential virus that may be on surfaces. Disinfecting (using disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 [lnks.gd] webpage) removes any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection. CDC has information on routine cleaning [lnks.gd] to help maintain healthy facilities.

Check out the full guidance below:

COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Schools Safely 728838 7 (1) by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd