The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued an Emergency Order requiring K-12 schools to provide public notice to the school community about probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours or receiving notice of such a case from their local health department. This more general public notice is in addition to the direct notifications that will continue to be provided by local health departments to individuals who are, or are suspected, of being a close contact of school-associated case. This order goes into effect on Monday, Oct. 12 at 8am.
Here's a breakdown of the process:
- The order requires local health departments to notify schools within 24 hours of learning of a probable or confirmed school-associated case of COVID-19.
- Upon notification, schools must provide public notification to the school community on a highly visible location on the school’s website that covers the impacted building or location within 24 hours. Based on MASSP's conversation with the Governor's staff, this notification could be provided on the building or district website.
- Schools are encouraged – but not required – to provide information about measures in place at the school to prevent transmission of COVID-19, as well as measures that individuals can take to prevent transmission.
Again, note that this more general "public notice" that schools are required to provide is in addition to the direct "close contact" notifications that will continue to be provided by local health departments to individuals who are, or are suspected, of being a close contact of a school-associated case. The order defines what constitutes a school-associated case as "a case of probable or confirmed COVID-19 amongst students, teachers, staff members, coaches, volunteers, or any other person who was present on school property or at a school function under circumstances that may result in the transmission or contraction of COVID-19 during their infectious period." Under the order, school community means "the set of persons who are affiliated with the school. This set may include, but is not limited to, parents, guardians, students, teachers, staff members, coaches, and volunteers."
Like the mask and public gathering limitations order issued on Monday, this order is being issued under the authority granted MDHHS by MCL 333.2253.
Information about school outbreaks is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. Principals may also want to note that additional Epidemic Orders are available online in the same section of the state's COVID-19 website where Executive Orders have been listed previously.