Ingham County issues mask mandate for all schools


INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — Ingham County Health officer Linda Vail issued two new COVID-19 orders today, one requiring face masks for everyone in the educational setting, and the other outlining specific quarantine and isolation rules for schools.

In August, Ingham County issued a recommendation that all people in schools wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, which lead to 97 percent of students in public schools going to a district that did require masks.

“We are grateful for the collaboration with our local schools and districts that have already required masks and continue to work with us on isolation and quarantine procedures,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail. “Unfortunately, our trends are going in the wrong direction and it’s crucial that we cover the gaps left behind in areas where mask requirements were not in place, including but not limited to daycare centers, childcare centers, preschools, youth programs, and private schools.”

Ingham County has seen a 515 percent increase in new cases for kids 0-17 years old when comparing a two week stretch in July to the two-week period of August 12-25.

Ingham County has a vaccination rate of 61 percent among people 12 and older, and many kids are too young to get the vaccine, which is why Vail said she made the decision.

Vail said that scientific studies overwhelmingly show the effectiveness of face coverings to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

“It is imperative that we use all of our tools and prevention strategies to control COVID-19 in educational settings to maintain in-person learning in the 2021-2022 school year and to do so safely,” said Health Officer Vail.

The orders both go into effect at 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday and will remain in effect until further notice.

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