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Gov. Whitmer signs order requiring children, workers to wear masks at Michigan childcare centers, camps

Children ages 2 and older must now wear face coverings on school buses

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her Aug. 5, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her Aug. 5, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order requiring children and workers to wear face masks at Michigan childcare centers, camps.

Executive Order 2020-164 was issued in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks at these types of locations, Whitmer said.

Health experts said there is mounting evidence that children can contract and spread the virus.

All staff members and children ages 2 and older will now have to wear face coverings on school buses and other transportation.

Staff members and children ages 4 and older have to wear face coverings in all indoor common spaces.

Staff members and children ages 12 and old have to wear face coverings in classrooms, homes, cabins and similar indoor small group settings.

Whitmer said she strongly encourages all children ages 2 and older to wear face coverings inside, though it’s not required by this executive order.

“Child-care workers have been on the front lines of this crisis and have worked tirelessly to provide a safe place for our children and families during this time,” Whitmer said. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other. I am committed to doing everything in my power to protect people of all ages from COVID-19. By masking up, we can all be a part of the solution to further prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.”

“Masks continue to be one of the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, and they can be safely worn by most of us over the age of two,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy for health. “Be a role model for your children and demonstrate the importance of wearing a mask. Have your child practice properly wearing a mask -- over their nose, mouth and chin -- while they are at home so they are comfortable with it in public. It will take all of us, of all ages, doing our part to continue slowing the spread of this disease and to protect our families and communities.”   

Childcare centers in regions that are in phase five of Whitmer’s reopening plan do not have to require face coverings, but they are strongly recommended.

Face coverings aren’t required for children who can’t medically tolerate wearing one. Masks can be taken off during meals, swimming and high-intensity activities, as well as when outdoor social distancing is possible.

Childcare centers and camps can use facilities that are otherwise closed under Executive Order 2020-160. They must follow additional guidelines on infection control, as determined by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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