by Judy Brune
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail has issued two public health orders that will go into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 7.
Mask and quarantine guidelines: The emergency orders require the use of masks and specify quarantine and isolation procedures for schools and other educational settings. Both orders are linked below:
- Emergency Order (Ingham2021-2): All Persons in Educational Settings, regardless of vaccination status, are required to consistently and properly wear a facial covering while inside any enclosed building or structure of an Educational Institution or vehicle of an Educational Institution.
- Emergency Order (Ingham2021-3): The Education Institutions and all Persons in Educational Settings must adhere to specific isolation and quarantine measures, following identification of close contacts or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Confirmed cases: The new emergency order states that confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 must complete a period of isolation for 10 days.
Close contacts: Those who are “close contacts” can choose any of the following options:
- Quarantine for 10 days and continue to monitor for symptoms for an additional 4 days
- Quarantine for 7 days, take a COVID-19 test on day 7, and return to school after a negative result is reported
- Persons willing to cooperate with serial testing (i.e., “Test to Stay”) may avoid quarantine. Serial testing for close contacts must be administered by an identified representative from a preK-12 organization each morning prior to facility entry (details included in Emergency Orders).
Stockbridge Schools: In an interview with WLNS earlier this week, Stockbridge Superintendent Brian Friddle shared that the district was dealing with a school quarantine rate of close to 10 percent and concern that “the quarantining adds up over time.” With the new quarantine options in effect, the district hopes more students will be able to stay in school.