Michigan officials urge mask wearing even after COVID vaccination

People encouraged to wear snug, multi-layered masks to prevent coronavirus spread, infection

People line up at a COVID-19 vaccination site at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan health officials are urging residents to continue wearing face masks, even after receiving coronavirus vaccinations.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are encouraging people, even those who have been vaccinated against the virus, to wear face coverings to prevent COVID-19 spread and infection.

“We are making great progress toward our goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders as quickly as possible, but it is important people remain vigilant in preventing spread of COVID-19 even after receiving a vaccine,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Wear the right mask and wear it properly over your mouth and nose every time you will be around someone outside of your household. Masks, social distancing and washing hands are still very important in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and ending this pandemic.”

Related: 6 ways Michigan residents can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine

The department’s recommendation comes as a new, more contagious coronavirus variant is spreading in the state. A total of 29 individuals have reportedly contracted a COVID-19 variant, known as B117, which is believed to be 50 percent more contagious than the current dominant virus strain. The variant has been reported in Washtenaw, Wayne and Kent counties, and two cases are reportedly located in Detroit, according to Mayor Mike Duggan.

Read: 2 cases of COVID-19 B117 variant confirmed in Detroit, mayor says

In line with guidelines from the CDC, the MDHHS recommends that individuals wear snug-fitting face masks made of breathable, but tightly woven, materials with at least two or three layers for maximum protection.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging all individuals to continue wearing face masks even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus. The MDHHS recommends individuals wear snug-fitting face masks made of breathable materials with at least two or three layers for maximum protection and prevention. Graphic provided by the MDHHS. (MDHHS)

Individuals are discouraged from wearing coverings that do not fit tightly to the face, only have one layer and/or are made of loosely woven material.

New research from the CDC suggests that wearing two masks at the same time significantly improves the wearer’s protection from COVID-19 exposure. The data shows the importance of wearing a mask correctly and making sure it fits snugly over the mouth and nose.

According to the CDC, a study shows that exposure to potentially infectious aerosols decreased by about 95 percent when two, tightly fitted face masks were worn at one time. Officials recommend doubling up by wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, a nylon covering over a mask or a mask fitter.

More: New CDC research suggests double-masking boosts protection against COVID

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

Michigan residents in need of a face mask can contact their local Community Action Agency or local DHHS office for one.

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.