MDHHS advises colleges regularly test students for COVID-19

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Guidance issued by the state on Tuesday is encouraging colleges and universities to require COVID-19 testing for students living on or near campus.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released several strategies to colleges on testing a sizeable amount of people:

  • Require weekly testing of undergraduate student living on or near campus and those participating in campus activities.
  • If resources are limited, require regular but random testing of students in the campus community.
  • Focus testing on information about community spread, including wastewater testing.

MDHHS says regardless of the strategy, specific action should be taken such as immediate isolation of students who test positive, have symptoms or have been exposed. Colleges should also conduct strong contract tracing for positive cases.

The state says several studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show virus transmission is more likely to happen outside of the classroom.

“We know there have been outbreaks of COVID-19 on college campuses across the country, and it has an impact on disease spread beyond the campus community,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said in a release.

MDHHS mentioned an incident where 180 people tested positive for coronavirus after a gathering at a bar in East Lansing. The state also said transmission risks have increased since a new and more contagious strain of COVID-19 was found in Michigan.

More information on the coronavirus outbreak can be found on the state’s website and on the CDC’s website.

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