Michigan health department updates quarantine recommendation for COVID-19, matching CDC change

The Michigan health department is updating its quarantine guidance to reflect changes recently made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, the CDC reduced the recommended isolation period for someone with COVID-19 who is asymptomatic or is seeing their symptoms resolve to five days, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around anyone. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday it would follow the CDC's direction, but emphasized the change in protocol was only for the general public and does not impact safety guidance for school and congregate settings.

"We have safe and effective tools for preventing the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. "Getting vaccinated continues to be the best protection against severe illness and hospitalization, and we urge all Michiganders over age 5 to get vaccinated as soon as possible."

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. Continue to wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth, test and social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, avoid large gatherings and get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already."

Severe sore throat, runny nose -- omicron symptoms resemble flu, cold

On Thursday, Michigan reissued an advisory urging schools to require masks for students and staff. The vaccination rate among kids and young people remain low, while the omicron variant has shown to be extremely effective at infecting others.

The state also recommended that school districts evaluate activities and modify ones that do not allow for social distancing. For instance, gatherings with 100 or more people should be held remotely. 

Related: Doctors advise against cloth masks to prevent spread of COVID-19

As residents close out the new year, Michigan is ending on a historically high case rate. On Wednesday, it reported nearly 13,000 cases in a day. Even with the grim benchmark, populated counties like Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland are still seeing cases increase.

Hospitalizations also remain at some of their highest rates to date.