Gov. Whitmer “applauds” schools, health departments mandating masks

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference on Michigan’s response to the pandemic on Apil 9, 2021. (Courtesy: Executive Office of the Governor)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — School districts and local health departments across the state of Michigan continue to implement mask policies.

So far, 228 school districts and more than 757,000 students go to schools that require masks. That equals 60.5 percent of the state.

Governor Whitmer released the following statement today in support of the schools that have implemented mask mandates.

“After 19 months of COVID, the science is clear: vaccines and masks keep kids safe and help them continue learning in person.  

On vaccines, the message is simple: every eligible Michigander 12 and older should get their safe, effective, and FDA-approved, vaccine to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community.  

On masks, both the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC have provided strong guidance to encourage school districts and local health departments to make the choice to put in place smart mask policies for students, teachers, and staff in schools regardless of vaccination status because it will allow everyone to stay safe while continuing to learn and grow in-person. I agree with our top health experts.  

As of today, 229 districts totaling over 60.5% of Michigan students, are covered by smart mask policies implemented by their school district or local county health department. That number continues to increase, and we expect to see that trend continue. 

In other states, school and local authorities have been pressured, threatened, or outright banned from taking action to protect their students, teachers, and staff. Instead, in Michigan, we are working closely with local health departments and supporting school districts to make sure schools are prepared to protect students this academic year. With 60.5% of our students and counting protected by smart mask policies, Michigan’s local leaders are taking COVID seriously and their actions are helping to control the spread of the virus while allowing kids to continue learning in class.  

Districts and local public health leaders should keep working together to implement mask guidelines and create buy-in at the community level, which leads to better outcomes and better adherence to policies that keep kids, teachers, staff, and parents safe.  

“ogether, we can protect ourselves from COVID and ensure kids keep learning in-person.” 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

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