(WSYM) — The Oakland County Health Division issued Tuesday a county-wide mask mandate for all "educational institutions" in Oakland County due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The mask mandate will affect public, private, and charter schools in the county, and is in response to rising COVID cases and hospitalizations, especially among children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that all students wear masks while in school, regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC is also recommending indoor masking for all individuals 2 and older including students, teachers, staff, and visitors.
Oakland County health officials note recent trends accessed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, stating that "consistent mask use" can reduce COVID risk in school settings, and that counties that have masks mandates in place tend to experience lower illness rates.
The county-wide order more specifically mandates that all people in pre-K through 12th grade were proper face coverings inside any enclosed building or structure of an institution. This is also required for anyone providing a service to anyone in grades pre-K through 12, regardless of vaccination status.
The educational institutions also include daycare and vocational schools.
Additionally, masks will not apply in the following approved settings or for the following people:
- Persons in the act of eating or drinking.
- Persons under the age of four years; however, supervised masking is recommended for children who are at least two years of age.
- Persons with developmental conditions of any age attending school for whom it has been demonstrated that the use of a face covering would inhibit the person's access to education. These are limited to persons with an Individualized Education Plan, Section 504 Plan, Individualized Healthcare Plan or equivalent.
- Vaccinated teachers who are working with children who are hard of hearing or students with developmental conditions who benefit from facial cues.
Read the full order below: