Flint Community Schools has also adopted a slightly different masking policy. In a letter to the flint families on July 21, Superintendent Kevelin Jones said masks will not be required but “recommended” for the 2022-23 school year, which began August 3.
The district also issued a updated protocols guide on July 14, which indicates that masks will be required on school buses “due to the proximity and mixing of students on the buses”.
Will social distancing be enforced in classrooms?
Some districts, including Flint and Lansing, are encouraging social distancing in their classrooms this fall.
Flint’s updated guide encourages staff to support social distancing between students “as much as possible,” but does not specify a distance. Lansing recommends that students and staff maintain a distance of 3 to 6 feet from each other when possible.
What about routine testing?
A number of districts, including Detroit, Dearborn, Flint and Lansing, do not plan to implement routine testing for people who are asymptomatic or have had close contact with infected people. Many abandoned schools such tests during the surge of the winter omicron variant due to pressure on resources and personnel.
But districts will still have voluntary rapid tests available internally for students with COVID symptoms at school.
How long should COVID-positive students and staff remain in quarantine?
The new CDC guidelines indicate that quarantine is no longer recommended for students and staff who are simply exposed to COVID but have not tested positive. They are encouraged to wear a mask for 10 days — a guideline that many districts, including Dearborn, are adopting for the next school year.
For people who test positive, many districts, including Grand Rapids, Dearborn, Royal Oak, Lansing and Kalamazoo, have adopted the CDC Shortened Quarantine Guidelines. This means that COVID-positive people isolate themselves at home for five days and return on day 6, if they remain masked until day 10 and have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. Those who refuse to wear a mask for days 6-10 will not be able to return to school and will be required to stay home for the full 10 days.