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Oakland and Washtenaw Counties are ending school mask mandates

High school girl studying in class with face mask
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High school student taking notes from book while wearing face mask due to coronavirus emergency. Young woman sitting in class with their classmates and wearing surgical mask due to Covid-19 pandemic. Focused girl studying in classroom completing assignment during corona virus.

Washtenaw and Oakland Counties are the latest to announce an end to school mask mandates.

Both counties plan to end their mask mandates February 28.

Health officials in Oakland and Washtenaw Counties say pandemic conditions have improved.

As we see our critical measures of vaccinations, hospital admissions, and cases moving in a direction that tell us the COVID-19 impact on our community is greatly improving, the time is right to remove the mask order for daycares and educational institutions,” said Health Division Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust.

Oakland County and several school districts have been the focus of litigation challenging the school mask mandate.

Attorney David Kallman filed suit against Oakland County and three school districts over the mask mandate this month. While he welcomes the county’s decision to end the mandate, Kallman says the decision does not make his case moot.

“I’m sure they’re going to come in and argue ‘well, our case should be dismissed now because we’ve lifted the mask mandate. It’s gone’. Well that’s not true,” said Kallman, suggesting the county could re-impose a school mask mandate again if COVID-19 cases rise again.

Kallman wants a judge to rule on the legality of school mask mandates.

Friday, Michigan state health officials reported 5,716 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday and Friday, for a daily average of 2,858. In Mid-January, the state of Michigan was recording more than 20,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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