Educators, health officials urge caution during spring break

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Health care workers and educators understand families want to escape the monotony of being at home but don’t want them to abandon COVID-19 protocols during springs break.

“Try and protect yourself universally,” Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Andrew Ingall said. “Continue to practice those universal precautions related to COVID.”

Other than guidelines from the state and Ottawa County Health Department, Ingall said his district isn’t adding COVID-19 requirements for spring breakers. He instead said he wants students and staff to evaluate their health before returning to class.

“Please self-quarantine,” Ingall said. “Stay home if you’re not feeling well, while you assess how you feel.”

Meanwhile, physicians said they don’t want families to let their guard down while away.

“I really do encourage people who do go on spring break to not just act like it’s just any other normal year,” said Dr. Rosemary Olivero, section chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Doctors said they don’t want travelers to unintentionally spread COVID-19 from Michigan to other parts of the country and also want parents to keep young people free from harm.

“There is still a huge population of young adults, teenagers and children that are completely unvaccinated,” Olivero said.

While medical professionals admit families are desperate for a change, they, along with educators, want them to exercise their best judgment.

“We’re just asking everyone to be thoughtful as you get back,” Ingall said.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that they will hold pop-up COVID-19 testing events for anyone preparing to return to school after a taking a trip. Authorities said testing sites at welcome centers and Michigan airports are also in the works for returning travelers.

The state says it will post information on pop-up testing locations as they become available on its website.

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