Barry-Eaton County Health Department issues mask mandate for schools

Michigan

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) — The Barry-Eaton County Health Department has issued a mask mandate for all educational settings as part of two new emergency public health orders.

The other new emergency order details quarantine isolation procedures for schools.

Ben Geiger, Chair of the Barry-Eaton District Board of Health (the governing body of BEDHD) released the following statement:

“The Board of Health respects [Ms. Scrimger’s] decision and refuses to engage in divisive political theater that changes no minds and overturns no orders. For the sake of our children, our families and our public health staff, let’s move forward with respect, empathy and civility.”

The Barry-Eaton District had a 219 percent increases in new cases among 0-17 year old kids when comparing the two-week period of Aug. 1-14 and the two-week period of Aug. 29- September 11.

Students who get exposed to COVID-19 must follow the guidelines laid out by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently.

“Scientific studies overwhelmingly demonstrate the effectiveness of face coverings to prevent COVID-19 transmission,” the Barry-Eaton County Health Department said.

Both of the orders will go into effect at midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 22 and will be in effect indefinitely.

We live in contentious times, and there’s few things more contentious today than a mask mandate for our schools. Our Health Officer Colette Scrimger and I had spirited discussions about the necessity for a mask mandate. Despite my views, I always reiterated this is a difficult decision, and was hers and hers alone to make.

Ms. Scrimger has made her decision, and state law does not allow it to be overturned by local county commissioners. Accordingly, the Board of Health respects her decision and refuses to engage in divisive political theater that changes no minds and overturns no orders. For the sake of our children, our families and our public health staff, let’s move forward with respect, empathy and civility.

Commissioner Ben Geiger
Chair, Barry Eaton District Board of Health

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