State now recommends businesses require masks

Health officials say they're hoping to head off a fourth wave of the pandemic.

State leaders are now “strongly” encouraging businesses to require their employees and visitors wear masks indoors. The announcement comes as the rate of COVID-19 infections in Michigan has been on the rise for over a month.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) based its recommendation on those issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. The guidance suggests even people who have been fully vaccinated should mask up indoors due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

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As of Wednesday, Michigan was averaging almost 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 per day. That’s a seven-fold increase over numbers from a month earlier.

MIOSHA’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan told Bridge Michigan that there isn’t cause for alarm, just caution.

“Delta transmits easier. We need to be more aware; we need to re-institute some of these mitigation strategies,” he said. “If we continue to wear face coverings, social distance, not go to work when we’re sick, we can keep this in check.”

Many businesses are already a step ahead of the state. McDonald’s announced last week it was re-instituting a mask mandate at its stores. Some schools and governments have also gone back to requiring masks.

[Bridge Michigan, MLive]

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