Get Caught Up: A look at Michigan school mask mandates for 2021-22 academic year

School districts, county health officials issue mask mandates to help curb spread of virus as students and staff head back to classrooms

A a summer school student wears a protective mask while listening to instruction, at the E.N. White School in Holyoke, Mass., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. Schools across the U.S. are about to start a new year amid a flood of federal money larger than they've ever seen before, an infusion of pandemic relief aid that is four times the amount the U.S. Department of Education sends to K-12 schools in a typical year. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A a summer school student wears a protective mask while listening to instruction, at the E.N. White School in Holyoke, Mass., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. Schools across the U.S. are about to start a new year amid a flood of federal money larger than they've ever seen before, an infusion of pandemic relief aid that is four times the amount the U.S. Department of Education sends to K-12 schools in a typical year. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

We have been tracking the evolving responses to the call for masks inside Michigan school buildings as students and teachers head back into classrooms for the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

The CDC and the the American Academy of Pediatrics have been recommending that all students and school staff wear face masks, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has done the same. Health officials are concerned about the aggressive spread of the COVID-19 delta variant. Mask-wearing by children can help stop the spread of the virus among the community, health officials have repeated.

However, no sweeping mask mandates have been made at the federal or state level for K-12 students or college students.


Get Caught Up” is ClickOnDetroit’s Saturday news review to help readers catch up on the biggest stories of the week.


The Michigan State Board of Education voted to allow individual school districts to respond to the pandemic as they deem necessary, which includes the authority to mandate masks, or not to, in their district. Many districts have decided to enforce mask-wearing inside their buildings, specifically for students in the pre-K through 6th grades due to their ineligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine at this stage in the pandemic.

Related: Michigan’s top doctor recommends school mask mandate

Meanwhile, several counties across the state have received public health orders from their local health departments mandating masks inside schools. Some of the public health orders are for students from pre-K through 12th grade.

In Metro Detroit, Wayne County and Oakland County both have such mandates in place. Both county health departments issued mandates requiring masks be worn by students in public, private and charter schools. These county-level public health orders supersede any school district-level mandates, or lack thereof. The orders are in place until the counties are categorized at the CDC’s “moderate” transmission level for the virus. As of Friday, the overwhelming majority of counties in the U.S. are listed at “high” or “substantial” transmission levels on the CDC’s tracker.

Related: Macomb County parents urge leaders to mandate masks in schools

This map shows Michigan counties with or without public health orders mandating masks in schools at the start of the 2021-22 academic year:

Below, we’re tracking which Michigan school districts and colleges are requiring face masks to be worn, at least indoors, for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Note: This list is not comprehensive and will be updated as more information is gathered. If your school district or college is requiring face masks and is not listed below, please send us an email with information and we will include it.

Note: As mentioned, some county health departments have issued public health orders that supersede any school district decisions. Those are marked in yellow in the table below:

Michigan COVID updates: What to know today

Michigan reported 3,958 new cases of COVID-19 and 69 virus-related deaths Friday -- an average of 1,979 cases over the past two days.

Friday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 941,678, including 20,230 deaths. These numbers are up from 937,720 cases and 20,161 deaths, as of Wednesday.

The deaths announced Friday include 42 identified during a Vital Records review.

Michigan is now reporting COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Testing has increased to around 20,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 8.83% as of Friday, slightly higher than the previous week. The positive test rate has been steadily climbing since the end of June, when it was at its lowest. Hospitalizations have increased by 231% since July 1.

Cases are rising again in Michigan. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,743 on Friday -- a significant jump since the beginning of July. The 7-day death average was 17 on Friday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.2%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 39,500 on Wednesday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Sunday, with 65.4% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 56.9% of 12+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 38 million cases have been reported in the U.S., with more than 632,200 deaths reported from the virus. Globally, more than 5 billion vaccine doses have been administered, including more than 363 million doses in the U.S. alone.

Worldwide, more than 213.9 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 4.4 million have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher, because of limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.

View: Michigan COVID data


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.