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MDHHS updates COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidance, with exceptions

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it will follow recent CDC guidance changes for COVID-19 after all.

The health department previously said its old policies would remain while it reviewed new recommendations from the CDC.

The CDC recently shortened the length of time people should isolate or quarantine after a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to the virus.

“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the CDC said in a press release.

But the state health department says these shortened stay-at-home periods do not apply to group settings like K-12 schools or childcare centers.

Those locations will still have to rely on existing guidance to quarantine for about two weeks unless the person is vaccinated and without symptoms.

“These most recent updates to the quarantine and isolation guidelines are a reflection on our progress as we learn more about COVID — but we are not in the clear as variants like omicron continue to create new challenges in the fight to end this pandemic,” MDHHS chief medical executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian said in a written statement.

The state says it will send out specific recommendations once more information comes out from the CDC. It’s unclear when that will be.