Kzoo County imposes mask mandate on schools

Parents are predictably split in their opinions of the move, which comes as COVID cases soar in the county.

All schools in Kalamazoo County will now have to require masks indoors following an order by Kalamazoo County’s Health Officer Jim Rutherford.

The Rules: The new requirement affects all schools in the county, not just public schools. It only applies to schools serving kids in kindergarten through grade six. The order will be in effect until six weeks after a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in children age five and older.

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What Happened: The order came down Wednesday afternoon in a joint news release with Allegan County’s health department, which issued similar requirements.

“The delta variant is much more transmissible than our previous variants, so we really want to keep the schools as safe as possible,” said Rutherford.

The Reaction: Parents are predictably divided in their reaction to the orders. Some parents see it as government overreach, while others see it as a reasonable means of keeping unvaccinated children safe as COVID-19 case rates soar throughout the county.

“I just think that this is the best way to not only protect the community but also to not create a hostile atmosphere at the school with it becoming a political issue of ‘maskers versus anti-maskers,’” said Parchment School District parent Tammy Cooper in an interview with MLive.

[MLive, WWMT]

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