Dear GRPS Parent/Guardian(s) and Staff,
On Friday, February 18, 2022, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) lifted the last remaining Public Health Order related to COVID-19. This came just two days after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the state is now officially in a post surge “recovery stage”. The KCHD cited data demonstrating that the Omicron variant has “diminished significantly” since its surge and peak in mid-January. As a district, we are also experiencing the lowest case counts of the year.
While we will continue to monitor the data and maintain on-going consultation with health officials, we are now in the position to follow the lead of the state and county health departments with the relaxation of some of our COVID-19 mitigation measures.
- Starting on Monday, February 28, 2022, students, staff, and visitors are no longer mandated to wear masks in schools and district buildings. In accordance with CDC, MDHHS, and KCHD guidance, masks are strongly recommended, but not required.
- Masks are still mandatory on all public transportation and school buses based on the CDC order from January 29, 2021.
- To control the spread of communicable diseases, the Michigan Public Health Code requires individuals who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for 5 days. Individuals may return on day 6, and wearing a mask is strongly recommended for days 6-10.
- Staff and families must continue reporting when there is a positive COVID-19 test.
- Kent County Health Department is no longer requiring contact tracing. In accordance with Public Health Code, we will continue reporting positive cases to the Kent County Health Department on a weekly basis.
- Household close contacts are no longer required to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. The KCHD is recommending a 10-day quarantine for unvaccinated household contacts.
As federal, state, and county health officials have stated, COVID-19 is here to stay and will continue to infect people not unlike the flu or common cold. If the COVID-19 numbers increase again, in consultation with the KCHD, we will consider additional mitigation measures as necessary.
I want to thank you again for your patience, understanding, and support as we have navigated through this pandemic. This has been a long, difficult journey and I am so proud of how well our scholars, families, and staff have worked together throughout it all.
Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools