Ingham County to rescind school mask requirement

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 10, 2022

(WXYZ) — Starting Feb. 19 at midnight, Ingham County is rescinding two emergency coronavirus orders, including the requirement of face masks in educational institutions.

The county says it’s revoking both emergency orders Ingham2021-2 and Ingham 2021-3, which were issued Sept. 2, 2021.

Ingham2021-2 requires masks in educational institutions, while Ingham 2021-3 details quarantine and isolation guidelines in schools.

The orders were implemented due to the impacts of COVID-19. When the orders were issued, the county said there were high COVID-19 positivity rates, hospital capacity was strained and there was a large population of unvaccinated students.

“We are at a point in this pandemic in which public health strategies will begin to shift more towards personal responsibility as we learn to live with COVID-19 long-term,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in a statement. “As a public health agency, we will continue to support local school districts by recommending evidence-based public health measures, educating on current guidance and practices, and making recommendations for staying safe and healthy.”

County officials noted that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services continue to recommend masks for all student ages 2 and up, staff and people who visit K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Ingham County says it will strongly recommend masks in schools but will no longer require them.

As of Thursday, the county says about 40% of kids ages 5 to 11 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Of the 12 to 15 age group, 62% have gotten at least their first dose of a vaccine.

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