By Ronald S. Nixon

On December 7, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that it has adopted new CDC recommendations providing asymptomatic persons an earlier release from quarantine after close contact with infected or symptomatic persons.  The MDHHS also issued a new Epidemic Order that extends through December 20, 2020 the existing partial shutdown of Michigan’s economy that was scheduled to end on December 8, 2020.

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the CDC announced that further study of the virus prompted it to revise its recommendations on how long a person who has close contact with an infected or symptomatic person must remain in quarantine. The MDHHS adopted these new recommendations, at least in part.  Under the new MDHHS recommendations, a person who has close contact with an infected or symptomatic person should remain in quarantine for 14 days, but that period may be reduced to 10 days if the following two conditions exist:

  • The individual does not develop any symptoms or clinical evidence of COVID-19 infection during daily symptom monitoring for the 10 days after the last exposure.
  • Daily symptom monitoring continues through day 14 after the last exposure.

In a new Epidemic Order also issued on December 7, 2020, the MDHHS extended the partial shutdown order that became effective on November 18, 2020 for an additional 12 days, until December 20, 2020.  The MDHHS stated that it needed the additional 12 days to determine the effect the Thanksgiving holiday on their efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. Under this order, for example, employees who can work remotely must do so, but employees who cannot may continue to report to work.  The order also continues the prohibition of dine-in service at restaurants and bars and the closure of indoor entertainment venues like cinemas and bowling alleys. The MDHHS also released an infographic and FAQ to summarize and explain the order.


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