(WSYM) — Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel joined 7 Action News This Morning to talk all about COVID-19 in Michigan amid lowering vaccination rates and rising COVID-19 case rates.
With school starting in just over a month, we asked Hertel about a possible return of mask mandates in Michigan, and what schools should be doing.
Hertel said that the state has been talking with school districts throughout the summer about safety measures they should put in place when it starts back up.
Currently, kids 12 and up are able to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines, which means all kids in elementary schools and parts of middle school are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
"We know that kids under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated, so I would expect and encourage schools when they go back to have mask requirements for kids younger than 12 and those who haven’t been vaccinated," Hertel said.
Hertel did say that the schools should have different mitigation strategies in place to keep kids safe depending on the level of transmission that they have in the school and in their area.
According to state COVID-19 vaccine statistics, only about 29.9% of kids between the ages of 12 and 15 and 40.6% of people between the ages of 16-19 have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That number drops to 25.3% for 12-15 and 36.2% for 16-19 for fully vaccinated.