Schools in Macomb County reported 12 cases of school-related COVID-19 in the state of Michigan last week, up from 25 cases the week of September 20.
But according to a group of parents trying to demand mandatory masking at all Macomb County schools, the trend may not continue due to changes made by the Macomb County Health Department in its COVID quarantine protocols -19.
The 12 cases for the week of September 27 were from three schools in three different school districts, including:
• Chatteron Middle School in Warren, part of the Fitzgerald Public Schools, with four students who contracted the virus.
• The Macomb Intermediate School District in Clinton Township, with five staff members who contracted the virus.
• May V Peck Elementary School in Center Line, part of Center Line Public Schools, with three students who contracted the virus.
Macomb County Parents for Safe In-Person Schools, an organization that is trying to make masks mandatory in all Macomb County schools, on Monday lashed out at the Macomb County Health Department for changes in policy that he said would reduce protections for students and school staff against COVID-19. Changes made by the MCHD would both reduce the number of days a student would spend in quarantine and allow students to return from quarantine and not to have to wear a mask. Both changes, according to MCPSIS, are less stringent than recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, the MCHD does not require students in Macomb County schools to wear masks. Some school districts require students to wear masks.
Macomb County Health Department COVID-19 Guidelines Go Against Science and Recommendations from State and Federal Public Health Experts, Aiming to Keep COVID Cases and Quarantines Artificially Low -19 in schools, ”said Emily Mellits, a Washington Township Parent and member of Macomb County Parents for Safe In-Person Schools. “The best way to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in schools is to require everyone to wear a mask and prevent infections, not by faking the numbers and sweeping cases under the carpet. As parents who have called for more transparency from policymakers, we are extremely concerned that the Macomb County Health Department is doing the opposite and is now trying to hide COVID-19 cases and outbreaks from families. . “
MCHD’s new schools COVID-19 exposure policy allows unvaccinated people exposed to COVID-19 individuals to “stay in school and participate in extracurricular activities as long as they are symptom-free” without having to wear a mask. The advice is for unvaccinated, unmasked people who are 3 to 6 feet away from someone with COVID-19.
In this scenario, the CDC recommends that the person be quarantined for 14 days and the MDHHS recommends that the person be quarantined for 7-10 days.
If an unvaccinated, unmasked person is exposed within 0 to 3 feet of a person exposed to COVID-19, the CDC and MDHHS again recommend that the person be quarantined for 14 days and 7-10. days respectively. The new MCHD policy requires a 10-day quarantine period or return to school with negative tests daily for seven days. Wearing a mask would be recommended, but not compulsory, at the start of the school year.
If an unvaccinated, masked person is exposed within 0 to 3 feet of a person exposed to COVID-19, the CDC recommends quarantine. The MDHHS recommends staying in school, with a mandatory mask, and testing daily for seven days. The MCHD recommends staying in school, with no mask or test required. And if an unvaccinated masked person is exposed within 3 to 6 feet of a person exposed to COVID-19, the CDC recommends a period of quarantine. The MDHHS recommends that you stay in school with a compulsory mask. The MCHD recommends that you stay in school without a compulsory mask.
If the exposed person has been fully vaccinated or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 90 days, that student or staff member may remain in school and participate in extracurricular activities, as long as they are not exhibiting any symptom of COVID-19.
When the Macomb Daily contacted the Macomb County Health Department to inquire about protocol changes, the MCHD did not respond to interview requests but responded with this response in an email:
“We fully understand and appreciate the concerns of parents regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies in schools and, with Macomb Middle School District as well as Macomb County school districts, we are working to promote a safe educational environment. . With these partners, we will continue to monitor information and data relating to schools.