COVID-19

Health leaders urge schools to keep masking

The state's top doctor says schools should keep mask mandates in place once classes start in the fall.

Students and teachers should keep wearing masks when they return to school in the fall. That’s the new recommendation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

The department credits the COVID-19 vaccines for bringing new case rates to their lowest levels in over a year. But state health officials worry all that good could be undone once students – most of whom are too young to be vaccinated – return to the classroom.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

“As the school environment brings together large groups of individuals who may not yet be vaccinated, MDHHS is issuing this guidance to help protect Michiganders of all ages,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.

Ultimately, the recommendations carry no weight of law and decisions will be left up to individual school districts.

Some education leaders say it will be difficult for them to enact a mask mandate in school.

“The reality is, with the mask mandates being lifted everywhere else, it’ll be difficult to suggest anything else happen inside our schools,” said Robert McCann in an interview with Bridge Michigan. He’s the executive director of the school advocacy group the K-12 Alliance of Michigan.

You can read more here.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.