August 13, 2021
In a stakeholder call on Friday, officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) confirmed they are closely watching the development of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, but stated they are not planning to issue any broad Epidemic Orders (“Orders”) at this time, including new Orders related to mandatory mask-wearing or limiting gatherings. Instead, they are “strongly encouraging” all Michiganders, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face covering when indoors, especially if they are in an area of “substantial or high transmission” and in other circumstances and to consider getting vaccinated if they have not already done so.
In addition to this update from MDHHS, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued a statement on August 12 that they are strongly encouraging Michigan employers to adopt policies that follow the recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines due to the Delta variant of COVID-19.
For areas with substantial or high community transmission, the CDC recommends that businesses implement face coverings for all employees and visitors indoors (including fully vaccinated individuals) and adopt the CDC recommended testing strategy for vaccinated employees exposed to a COVID-19-positive person.
CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals includes:
- Outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people.
- Most indoor activities pose low risk to fully vaccinated people, especially in low or moderate transmission areas.
- Infections happen in only a small proportion of fully vaccinated people, even with the Delta variant.
- Fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others.
To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially to spread it to others, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:
- Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Consider choosing to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result.
- Continue to follow applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
For those who are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated and continuing to mask until they are fully vaccinated. Per the CDC’s latest update, “With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever.”
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