© 2021 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 91.3 Port Huron 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

Whitmer: Don't expect school mask mandate from state

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
michigan.gov
/

“There are no plans to do any broad mandates” regarding COVID-19 mitigation in Michigan schools. That’s the message Governor Gretchen Whitmer is now putting out. It comes as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is facing growing criticism and frustration for refusing to issue a mask mandate for K-12 schools.

Mandatory masking in schools has become a politically contentious issue. That’s despite nearly universal scientific agreement that it’s needed to control the spread of COVID-19. Virtually every public health agency or organization nationwide, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, recommends it, regardless of vaccination status.

But Michigan is leaving the decision up to school districts. So far, the majority of them have not made masks mandatory—though a growing number of school districts have in the past few days, and a handful of counties have issued public health orders to that effect.

On Monday, Governor Whitmer defended her administration’s decision to issue “strong recommendations” on school masking and other COVID-19 mitigation measures, rather than mandates.

“We know that districts in large measure wanted the ability to make those decisions at the local level. We’re encouraging them to follow the CDC guidance,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer said she’s optimistic that more school districts will adopt state recommendations in the near future. “I’m hopeful that more will continue to do that, because we do think it’s the right thing to do right now,” she said.

Want to support reporting like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.

Related Content