NewsYour Health MattersAsk Dr. Nandi


Some Michigan counties plan to drop school mask mandates; is this safe?

A Creative Teacher Made Socially Distanced ‘truck Desks’ To Make Classroom More Fun
Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 17:52:04-05

(WXYZ) — Oakland and Washtenaw counties announced on Friday that they will be lifting mask requirements in schools starting Feb. 28.

Ingham County announced it will drop school mask mandates Feb. 19. Some are wondering if these changes will be safe.

I am not in favor of dropping mask mandates right now and here’s why: The positivity test rates in Oakland County are still high and case numbers are likely undercounted because people can test at home and they don’t have to report positive results.

Also, there were close to 700 infections tied to school outbreaks just last week, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. That’s still too many in my opinion.

Now, I know people want the pandemic over with, but ditching masks in schools could lead to children passing the virus more easily to each other and more families could end up getting sick. And we could end up reversing or stagnating the progress we’ve just made.

The best time to drop masks is when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's safe to do so. Right now, they still recommend that masks be worn in areas with substantial transmission rates.

Now, I know numbers across Michigan have taken a huge nosedive, but we need those numbers to be even lower. We can't forget how easily the omicron variant spreads and we have its sister variant BA.2 that we need to watch. So, in my opinion, we should keep wearing masks because they can help protect people and slow the spread of the virus.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.