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State releases guidance on how schools should handle students exposed to COVID-19

The new guidance is being paired with the launch of a free testing program aimed at keeping students safe.
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:38 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The State of Michigan has released guidance on how schools should handle students being exposed to COVID-19, along with launching a free testing program to help keep students safe.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is attempting to give more guidance to both parents and schools for what they should do if a child was exposed but does not have symptoms.

According to the health department, unvaccinated students can return to the classroom after being exposed as long as they have a negative COVID-19 test after six days.

The MI Safe Schools Testing Program is offering free antigen tests for schools.

At-home tests are now available over the counter in grocery stores and pharmacies

The new guidance and testing are being made available to try to keep kids in schools safely.

“When layered prevention strategies such as masking, distancing, testing, isolation, and quarantine are applied consistently, school-associated transmission of COVID-19 is significantly reduced - which keeps kids in the classroom so they can learn,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “However, if someone is exposed to COVID at schools, it’s important for them to follow quarantine guidance to prevent spread to other children.”

The state is still strongly encouraging wearing masks in schools along with getting vaccinated as the best protection against COVID-19.

“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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