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Michigan schools urged to continue face masks and social distancing in the fall

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 1:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Schools across Michigan are urged to continue common COVID-19 measures in the fall to prevent infections of students and staff.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a series of recommendations Friday for schools to consider when they reopen in the fall. The measures are designed to keep schools open for in-person learning and protect students who aren’t vaccinated.

The recommendations are not orders, so schools can choose to adopt or ignore any of the advice.

The recommendations include:

  • Promoting the COVID-19 vaccine for staff and all students age 12 and older. The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for students in that age group.
  • Encourage students and staff to continue wearing a face covering over their noses and mouths based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
  • Promoting social distancing and limiting students to interacting only with small groups of classmates.
  • Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick or experience COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Encourage all students to get a COVID-19 test if they have symptoms and encourage unvaccinated students get tested if they are in close contact with someone who has the illness.
  • Collaborate with local health departments on continued screening, contact tracing and quarantine protocols.
  • Avoid any crowded large group gatherings or activities in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Encourage frequent handwashing, sanitizing and personal hygiene measures.

As of Friday, over 61% of Michigan residents age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“These vaccines are the reason transmission of the virus in Michigan is at the lowest point in a year,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “However, as the school environment brings together large groups of individuals who may not yet be vaccinated, MDHHS is issuing this guidance to help protect Michiganders of all ages.”

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