Quarantines close Baldwin schools, prompt mask mandate at Livingston Co. elementary

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A Michigan school district has canceled classes for the rest of the week after students have been  quarantined for flu-like symptoms, officials said.

Baldwin Community Schools in Lake County announced on its Facebook page Wednesday that "many students are being quarantined with primarily flu-like symptoms."

The district said one student and one staff member also had tested positive for Covid-19 and both were quarantined.

The quarantines meant the attendance rate fell below the required 75% level the state would count as an instructional day. 

A classroom.

The district plans to resume in-person learning on Monday, it said in the post.

Quarantines at Hartland Consolidated Schools in Livingston County also led district officials to impose a mask mandate for one of its elementary schools.

Starting Thursday through Sept. 6, students and staff wear a cloth mask over their nose and mouth while indoors at Round Elementary, superintendent Chuck Hughes said in a statement.

Since last week, 122 students at the school have been in quarantine, according to the release. The district has a mask-optional policy.

Hughes said in the last week he had been notified of at least six positive or probable Covid-19 cases at the school.

"We have several students who have tested positive due to outside exposure, but enough that we feel it necessary to take this precaution instead of shutting down the building," Hughes said.

The school decisions come as 72 of Michigan's counties are at a high transmission level for Covid-19, which means that most residents are urged under federal guidelines to wear masks in public, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Wednesday, Michigan added 4,326 new COVID-19 cases and 38 deaths from the virus. 

Last week, the state reported 10,807 new cases, up 14% from the 9,467 cases disclosed over the previous seven-day period.

Michigan's Covid-19 hospitalizations now exceed 1,100 inpatients, and new infection numbers have been climbing for a month.

Through Wednesday, 65.3% of Michigan residents age 16 or older had received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the state health department.