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Michigan Governor: Mask Wearing in Schools is Up to Individual Districts

Person with medical gloves holding mask

Michigan's mask mandate ended June 22 along with all COVID-related capacity limits on gatherings.

With schools reopening and COVID once again surging, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has decided to leave any decisions about re-masking up to individual towns and school districts.

She recognizes that the best way to keep kids safe is to allow their parents and local leaders to decide what is best for them.

That said, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are recommending that all students and school staff wear masks.

According to local health officials, like Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, jurisdictions with mask mandates tend to experience slower spread of COVID-19 during the delta surge thus far. Meanwhile, the CDC continues to urge the use of masks, among other prevention methods, in the fight against COVID and the delta variant.

When asked why she has not issued a mask mandate for schools, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued the statement, “While the vast majority of middle school and high school students are eligible for the safe and effective vaccines, we know that face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect younger students who do not have access to the vaccine yet. As Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said, these smart public health protocols are only effective if everyone works together to protect each other. That’s why school districts and local health departments should work together to put in place universal mask policies to keep students safe and ensure that in-person learning can continue this year.”