Michigan health department urges schools to require masks as COVID-19 surges


About half of Michigan's students are enrolled in schools that have issued mask mandates. - SHUTTERSTOCK
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  • About half of Michigan's students are enrolled in schools that have issued mask mandates.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that schools require masks as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continues to rise, but fell short of calling for a mandate of its own.

"Several local health departments and many school districts have already moved forward to require masks in schools; we applaud their efforts and encourage all Michigan districts to follow their lead," MDHHS spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin tells Metro Times in a statement. "We continue to work closely with school administrators and local health departments to advise on masking and prevention strategies and will continue to monitor the school population closely."

On Tuesday, the Oakland County Health Division issued an emergency health order requiring that all students and staff at all public and charter schools wear masks. Even without an MDHHS mandate, at least 153 of the state's 537 school districts have issued mask requirements, impacting nearly half of the state's students, or 46%, according to a Bridge Michigan analysis.

MDHHS says it recommends all Michiganders to get vaccinated.

"MDHHS encourages all eligible Michiganders to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are able," she says. "The vaccine is our best protection against the virus and how we can end this pandemic together."

You can find out how to make a vaccination appointment at VaccineFinder.org.

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