As schools around mid-Michigan decide whether to open for in-person learning state leaders are sending out the message. Not all communities are being equally hit by COVID-19 and schools need to work closely with their local health departments.
Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says right now Detroit has a case rate of 26 cases per million people per day. Wayne, Monroe, and Oakland Counties have a case rate of more than 40 cases per million per day. Macomb County has the highest rate in the region with a case rate of 82 cases per million people per day.
She’s says across the state there continue to be outbreaks.
“The top categories for continuing outbreaks are long term care facilities, social gatherings, agricultural and food processing facilities, child care and youth programs, manufacturing, health care, restaurants, schools, and colleges,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Chief Medical Officer.
To help stop the spread the state announced Michigan Mask Aid. The state teamed up with Ford Motor Company and FEMA to provide 4 million masks to people in need.
“If 95% of Americans wore masks between now and December 1st it would save 66 thousand lives,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan).
“States that required masks early as Michigan did had less growth in Covid,” said Robert Gordon, MDHHS Director.
“It is times like these that we need to pull together as a group and understand the power of masks to save lives,” said Jim Hackett, Ford CEO.
Lt. Governor Garlan Gilchrist said that one of the numerous reasons that African Americans were hit hardest, is some did not have access to PPE. He is leading a task force aimed at addressing racial inequities in our health system.
“The project was a natural next step for the task force to ensure that these life-saving resources are available for everyone,” said Gilchrist.
More than a million of the masks will be donated to schools with many low-income students.
“I encourage every school superintendent who is developing plans for in-person instruction to mandate masks for children of all ages, even in a classroom setting,” said Khaldun.
If you are in need of help getting a mask you can call a hotline, The number is 888-535-6136.