State leaders urge schools to mask up this fall

Officials stopped short of a mandate while mirroring CDC guidelines pushing for masks in schools.

Staff and students should mask up when they return to the classroom later this month. That’s the new guidance issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Wednesday.

With the fall semester less than a month away, COVID-19 rates are rising rapidly. That, combined with the fact that no student under age 12 is vaccinated, led state leaders to issue the recommendation.

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It follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that calls for mask wearing as well as social distancing in schools.

But state leaders stopped short of issuing a mandate for masking in schools, a fact that some education officials felt was unhelpful.

“We have district leaders who go to school for years to be education experts, but they are not trained to be medical experts,” said Peter Spadafore, deputy executive director of the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators in an interview with Bridge Michigan. He said a definitive order would take the onus off administrators to make the decision.

[Bridge Michigan, Michigan Advance]

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