LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) sent a letter to superintendents encouraging them to reinforce actions for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

MDHHS continues to reinforce that vaccination is still the best measure to prevent COVID-19. Children 5-years-old and older are eligible to be vaccinated. MDHHS says shchools should encourage all that are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose and if possible, host vaccination clinics to facilitate access for students, families, teachers and staff.

“Our priority has remained keeping students safe,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. “Children ages 5 and older now can get vaccinated. In addition to vaccination, we strongly recommend universal masking for students, teachers and staff. We have the tools to keep Michiganders safe, and we must continue to use them.”

Both the CDC and MDHHS recommend universal indoor masking for teachers, staff, studetns and visitors (age 2 and older), regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. They also recommend testing. MDHHS is offering rapid antigen testing to K-12 schools through the MI Safe Schools Testing Program. Schools can also participate in the MI Backpack Program which offers free at home COVID-19 tests for students and their families, teachers and school staff.

MDHHS also advises modifications to planned activities during and after school in which a six foot distance between people in different households can’t be maintained. They say nonessential gatherings with 100 or more people should be held with remote technology or postponed.