Whitmer: No plans for statewide school mask mandate


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As county health departments and local school districts make decisions about students wearing mask as they head back to school, some have wondered if the state might be considering some type of blanket order.

News 8 asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday if she anticipates a possible state mandate.

“Last year we’ve had a lot of debate over gubernatorial powers, powers that I never wanted to use but had to use to keep people safe,” Whitmer said. “We didn’t have vaccines, we didn’t even know that mask were going to be the most important tool that we had to keep yourself safe until we had vaccines. We now have those.”

She pointed out that most people are able to get vaccinated, except for kids under 12 and people who are immunocompromised.

“That’s why right now it is so important that districts are adopting these policies. We have been consistent about the need for this but in this moment we have tools that we can use,” Whitmer said. “We are strongly going to encourage districts to do that. At this time there is not a conversation about a broad epidemic order but we are hopeful districts will follow the lead and learn from these incredible ones that are leading, doing what’s necessary to keep their students safe.”

For now, county health departments or school districts that have mask mandates will get the Governor’s support and appreciation, but no statewide order to back them up.

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