St. Clair County health officer discusses lifting mask mandate for schools

‘We feel this is the best way for our community to move forward’

Dr. Annette Mercatante spoke with Local 4 about why the county is dropping its school masks mandate.

St. Clair County Medical Health Officer Dr. Annette Mercatante spoke with Local 4 on Monday (Jan. 31) about why the county is dropping its school masks mandate.

Mercatante said wearing masks is very important in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, but the mandate will be no more as the decision will be left up to school leaders themselves.

“We felt that the mask order was successful in keeping our kids in school, and many of the worst outcomes that we were anticipating with hospital surges and testing supplies seem to have evened out a little bit, and we’re starting to see our numbers falling, not only throughout the county but also in the schools,” she said. “We felt that it was appropriate to let our mask mandate expire.”

However, Mercatante said everyone should still be wearing a mask even without a public health mandate in place.

“You know, as always, the reality is these orders need to be implemented by our schools, and our schools have expressed a desire to have kids masked whenever possible, but they’ve also expressed a desire to utilize these strategies on their own,” she said. “It is up to the schools to require and enforce this. It was a joint decision that we need to move forward with. Like everything, public health is a science and also an art. And we feel this is the best way for our community to move forward.”

More: Michigan COVID news


About the Author:

Rhonda Walker has been helping Detroiters get motivated and ready for the day for the past 22 years. A confessed morning person, this award winning talented and versatile journalist starts her day at 2:00 am to co-anchor the weekday morning newscast at WDIV-Local 4 News. A position she’s held since 2003.