MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (FOX 2) - Less than 24 hours after Oakland County Health Division officials issued an indoor school mask mandate for students and staff, an activist group in Macomb County is demanding the same.
"We were relieved. We were happy to see leadership. We were happy to see safety protocols put in place in a time that’s needed," said Katie, a parent with Macomb County Parents for Safe In-Person School. "We are asking Macomb County to issue mask mandate for K-12."
The group rallied Wednesday.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said in a video on Tuesday that the county will not follow suit with Oakland County on a mask mandate for kids in schools. Instead, he said the decision is left up to each Independent School District (ISD).
"Here in Macomb County, we have been working - almost daily - with our schools, the ISDs, superintendents trying to get our understanding of where the boards are at," Hackel said.
The county executive acknowledged that this is a divisive issue and a hot debate but it's left up to each district to make the decision of whether to mandate masks or not.
The Macomb County Intermediate School District said, "We have a number of our districts that are choosing to require mask wearing while the majority are not at this time. We continue to work closely with our health department and all of our school districts’ leadership to monitor and be prepared to revisit and make changes as needed."
Gov. Whitmer's full statement is below:
"As school districts prepare for the upcoming school year, we are providing strong guidance to superintendents, school boards, and local health departments to help increase the number of school districts with smart mask policies because data shows that local mask policies can significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 so that students can safely continue in-person learning. Right now, more than 135 school districts are covered under a mask policy this school year, which accounts for 46% of the student body or roughly 625,000 students across the state. We applaud local municipal and education leaders in Macomb County and across the region who have stepped up to do the right thing and take action to implement smart health precautions to ensure that students can receive a quality education in person in a safe environment."