MDHHS advises masks, social distancing continue in school


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The state health department is advising schools to continue requiring masks and social distancing as part of a “layered” strategy to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommended — but did not mandate — that districts encourage vaccinations for those who can get them, implement mask wearing, social distancing, health screenings and testing, and promote a healthy and properly ventilated setting.

It said that all those measures used together will be most effective in keeping the school year moving smoothly and also protect those who haven’t been or can’t get vaccinated — like children under the age of 12.

“All prevention strategies provide some level of protection, and layered strategies implemented at the same time provide the greatest level of protection,” a Friday statement said.

Statewide, about 56% of people in Michigan age 12 and up have gotten at least one vaccine dose.

“I am pleased with the progress of our vaccination efforts in Michigan, with 56% of Michiganders age 12 and older having received at least their first dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said in a Friday statement. “These vaccines are the reason transmission of the virus in Michigan is at the lowest point in a year. However, as the school environment brings together large groups of individuals who may not yet be vaccinated, MDHHS is issuing this guidance to help protect Michiganders of all ages.”

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