From Oakland County:
COVID-19 and School
Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) recognizes the importance of returning students
to school campuses for in-person instruction while protecting the health and safety of our
students, school staff, and the broader community from COVID-19.
Safety in schools starts by:
• Ongoing vaccination efforts for eligible students.
• Keeping children home when sick.
• Parents encouraging their students to wear a properly fitting mask during in-person instruction.
• School officials partnering with the local public health to strongly recommend and reinforce universal masking for all
students, staff, and visitors.
Back To School Guidance
This guidance is designed to support all public and private K-12 schools.
If close contact becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19, they are now a confirmed or probable case. If close contact does not develop symptoms they complete a quarantine period and can return to school. Reporting positive cases and identifying close contacts in school is important to quickly identify those who should isolate and quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to COVID-19. Students or staff will be placed in OCHD's contact tracing system for follow-up, and support during the quarantine period. Seating charts are recommended to assist schools with identifying close contacts when exposure occurs.
Close Contact Quarantine Guidelines
Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. It helps prevent the spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are infected with a virus. When schools are made aware of a positive case of COVID-19, schools are recommended to inform the positive case to isolate for at least 10 days after symptoms began and 24 hours after no fever without fever-reducing medications and symptoms have improved.
Schools are also recommended to notify all close contacts to quarantine. According to the Oakland County Health Division, a 7-day COVID-19 test option can also be implemented with a negative PCR test. The following must be met before returning to school:
- A negative PCR test (not a rapid antigen or antibody test) COLLECTED no sooner than 5 days after exposure date (test must occur on day 5 or later). The school should ensure the timing of the test is appropriate (no less than 5 days after last date of exposure).
- Person remains symptom-free.
- With a negative PCR result, person may return to school on day 8. (The date of contact is day zero.)
People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from the health department. This guidance is subject to change based on State and Federal guidelines and/or mandates.
Per CDC people who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months if they remain symptom-free. Those who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first COVID-19 positive test may need to be tested again if no other cause is identified for their symptoms.
Vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
- It is more than 14 days since receiving the last dose in the series
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Per the CDC, in the K-12 indoor classroom setting only, an exception to the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student where:
- Both students were engaged in the consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks and
- Other K-12 school prevention strategies (such as universal and correct mask use, physical distancing, increased ventilation) were in place in the K-12 school setting.
This exception in K-12 schools does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
*OCHD may recommend stricter quarantine guidelines throughout the school year based on the level of community transmission and identified
The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the isolation room procedure when a student becomes ill at school with COVID-19 symptoms.
Here are additional links for information on COVID-19 to help address concerns:
Oakland County Health Division: What you need to know
MDHHS: What is Michigan doing?
City of Royal Oak: Resources if you are in need of help
For further assistance regarding COVID-19, go to www.oakgov.com or call Oakland County’s Nurse On Call line at 800-848-5533.
Beaumont Health launched a free online COVID-19 risk assessment tool that allows patients to answer a series of questions about their symptoms and help them determine whether to stay home or seek medical attention. To use the free online risk assessment tool and much more, visit: www.beaumont.org/coronavirus
Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools: A Resource for Families
Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools
DATE: May 14, 2021
FROM: Michael F. Rice, Ph.D., State Superintendent
SUBJECT: U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Fact Sheet: Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools
This memo is to share a new resource from the U.S. Departments of Education (USED) and Justice (DOJ): Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools — a fact sheet for students and families. This resource can be found in the Race and National Origin Discrimination section of the USED Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) Reading Room, in English, Chinese-simplified, Chinese-traditional, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, with additional translations expected later this month.
This information supplements a recent MDE memo that provided curricular and other resources to combat anti-Asian hate and bullying. We share this new fact sheet in an effort to assure that students and families are aware of their rights in school settings and of how to access help, if needed, including from OCR in the U.S. Department of Education and the Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice.
In the communication about this new resource, USED and DOJ referenced President Biden’s Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, in which he stated: “The federal government should combat racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and should work to ensure that all members of AAPI communities — no matter their background, the language they speak, or their religious beliefs — are treated with dignity and equity.”
MASK MANDATE FALL 2021
Oakland County Issues Emergency Health Order Requiring Masks In Educational Settings
Oakland County, Michigan – The Oakland County Health Division issued an emergency health order today requiring masks in daycares and elementary, middle, high, and vocational schools regardless of vaccination status to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order aligns with recent guidance from the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to ensure children, teachers, and staff are able to begin the school year safely.
This order comes on the heels of Oakland County returning to an indoor mask requirement for all employees last week regardless of vaccination status.
“Our top priority is keeping students in school for in-person learning. Masking is one of the best defenses against increased transmission of COVID and higher hospitalization rates among kids,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said. “This order allows teachers to get back to educating our students and focusing on their success.”
Oakland County Health Division issued Emergency Health Order 2021-1 through the authority of the county’s health officer after evaluating local, state, and national data and conditions.
COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are rising among children in the United States, with over 180,000 children testing positive the week of August 12-19, an increase from the prior week when 120,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported, according to a report from the AAP.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated Oakland County is at substantial risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially the Delta variant. Of the 2,740 new cases of COVID-19 in Oakland County from August 4-17, more than one in six were school-age children. Over 52,000 Oakland County residents ages 12-19 years old remain unvaccinated as the 2021-2022 school year gets underway. Plus, students younger than 12 years are ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Oakland County’s seven-day case average is 178 new cases per day or about 1,250 new cases per week, many among the unvaccinated. The county’s seven-day test positivity rate has climbed to 6.6 percent.
The test positivity rate has been rising since the beginning of July and has exceeded 5.0 percent since early August.
Masks help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by reducing the number of respiratory droplets containing the virus that may emanate from an infected individual who is asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Studies of COVID-19 incidence in school districts during the 2020-2021 school year show that proper masking is the most effective mitigation strategy to prevent secondary transmission in schools. One study out of North Carolina indicated masking helped reduce COVID-19 transmission between 40 and 70 percent.
Masking is part of a multi-layered approach to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Other preventative measures include immunization, social distancing, good hand hygiene, staying home when sick, and avoiding high-risk activity.
Emergency Health Order 2021-1 does not apply to the following individuals:
- Those eating or drinking.
- Children under the age of four years (supervised masking is recommended for children who are at least two years old).
- Anyone living with developmental conditions for whom it has been demonstrated that the use of a face covering would inhibit the person's access to education (those with Individualized Education Plan, Section 504 Plan, Individualized Healthcare Plan, or equivalent).
- Vaccinated teachers working with children who are hard of hearing or students with developmental conditions who benefit from facial cues.
- Persons who have a medical reason confirmed in writing from a physician.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2.
It is described as a family of viruses, some of which can infect people and animals, named for crownlike spikes on their surfaces.
The viruses can cause the common cold or more severe diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and COVID-19, the latter of which first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
The incubation period for the new virus is thought to be up to two weeks.
TO MINIMIZE THE SPREAD OF ALL ILLNESSES, INCLUDING THE FLU:
Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands frequently and regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Stop the spread of germs
You can take steps to protect yourself and others during a COVID-19 outbreak. The virus spreads from person-to-person in close contact and being exposed to the virus on surfaces, then touching your face with unwashed hands. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.