Ottawa County Issues Return to School Guidance; Masking Not Required
Ottawa and Kent Counties issued a joint news release on August 6, 2021.
According to the press release, there is no local mandate requiring children or teachers to wear masks in an educational setting.
The release says:
Health departments release public orders regarding COVID-19 prevention and isolation and quarantine requirements
The Administrative Health Officers of two local county health departments have partnered to issue ‘Public Health Orders’ addressing COVID-19 prevention in educational settings. The orders, which are identical for both counties but issued separately by jurisdiction, detail the requirements for isolation, quarantine and reporting for all educational institutions in Kent and Ottawa Counties. The order is effective August 6 expiring when rescinded by the respective health department.
The public health orders, based upon the most recent facts about the virus, protect vulnerable individuals and people who are not yet vaccinated, reduce transmission of COVID-19 in schools and minimize interruptions to in-person learning.
Highlights of the orders include:
All persons identified as confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases must isolate for at least 10 days as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Household close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases are required to quarantine as described by the CDC.
All persons in an educational setting in close contact with a COVID-19 case involved in an outbreak are required to quarantine as described by the CDC.
The orders also require schools to outline and publish the school’s COVID-19 Prevention Strategy for the 2021-2022 school year. Schools must also notify the school community and their respective public health departments of any subsequent changes to the school’s prevention strategy.
The health departments also strongly recommend that schools follow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services guidance for schools as well as the CDC guidelines that can be found here.
Public health officials will continue to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly to best protect their communities.