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Michigan Health Department Says It Won't Mirror New CDC Isolation Guidance

LANSING, Mich. (CBS Detroit/AP) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), for now, will not mirror new recommendations from U.S. officials reducing isolation restrictions for people infected with the coronavirus from 10 days to five.

In a statement late Wednesday, MDHHS said it will review supporting evidence for the guidance issued Monday. It also will wait for additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically for special populations and high-risk settings.

That may come early next week.

"In the interim, MDHHS will retain current quarantine and isolation guidelines including guidelines for K-12 and congregate care settings," read a statement from the department.

That means students who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 10 days after getting sick or 10 days after the test if they have no symptoms.

"Michigan continues to experience high rates of transmission and has several tools to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. The delta variant has already fueled the current surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations," the statement continued.

"The high transmissibility of the omicron variant underscores the importance of Michiganders practicing the COVID mitigation practices that are known to reduce spread and risk. Ensuring that as many Michiganders as possible are vaccinated is the best protection available against additional variants of concern and reduces the strain on hospitals."

The state and federal recommendations, while not binding, are used by local health departments. Several have issued orders spelling out isolation and quarantine rules. Violators can face civil and criminal penalties.

Norm Hess, executive director of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, said told the Associated Press that many health departments are reevaluating their orders or recommendations for schools and the general public.

"Some local health departments will wait for this additional guidance, while others will move ahead based on the information they know," he said.

Kent County, for instance, said it is aligning with the CDC protocols but noted the guidelines may not apply to schools, congregate settings or those working with people in high-risk groups. Ingham County adjusted its order for schools to incorporate the five-day isolation and quarantine periods.

The state on Wednesday recorded case counts that shattered the record, reporting nearly 13,000 a day — almost a third more than the peak set over a year ago.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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