14-Day Quarantine Reinstated For COVID-19 Cases
April 13, 2021
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is reinstating a standard 14-day quarantine for those who have had close contact with anyone who has had COVID-19, which removes the option for a 10-day quarantine.
A “frequently asked questions” information sheet updated on Monday states that the change is due to increasing case rates and variant spread in Michigan.
Michigan reported 10,293 new COVID-19 cases from Sunday and Monday and new case numbers continue to climb upward. On Easter Monday, The New York Times reported seven metropolitan areas as being within the Top 10 with the largest number of new cases in relation to their populations in the last two weeks.
DHHS is also reporting in its guidance that because COVID-19 is “spreading significantly across the state,” public health can’t contact everyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
The department is urging people who contact the virus to do their own contact tracing and let people know — including their employer or school — if they’ve been exposed.
Michigan Chamber of Commerce Vice President Wendy Block said she received notification of this change Tuesday morning after a member flagged it for her. She was miffed that no other communication had been done on the change other than a notice buried on page 13 of a FAQ.
She questioned how many employers would be in compliance of this order Tuesday.
“We understand the desire to take the new variants seriously and try to address spread, but compliance will be difficult, especially if they aren’t broadcasting what they changed,” Block said.
Block also questioned DHHS’ statutory authority to extend the quarantine timeframe from 10 to 14 days since the new law that addresses this issue SB 1258 reads that isolation period means the recommended number of days since a person first displays COVID symptoms based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
The CDC does give an option to reduce a quarantine to 10 days without testing, but its website does read, “Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long a quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs.”