Michigan Nurses Association recommends CDC reverse new relaxed mask mandate

More than 870K virus cases confirmed in Michigan

Nurses discuss updated CDC mask guidelines
Nurses discuss updated CDC mask guidelines

DETROIT – Nurses are pushing back on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noting it is too soon to relax mask wearing guidance.

Michigan is now following the CDC’s guidance and lifted the mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated.

Those who aren’t vaccinated are asked to mask up indoors.

Here are a few reasons why some nurses are holding that position.

There are adults who cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons. Others are immune compromised and might not be as protected by the vaccine.

Children under the age of 12 cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine because the FDA has not extended the eligibility at that age.

There are people who have fought tooth and nail not to wear masks under any circumstances and those able to get the shot who choose not to.

Now the nation’s nurses union is asking the CDC to pump the brakes on removing mandates on those layers of cloth that have been proven to help reduce spread of the virus.

READ: States, business sort out what new CDC mask guidance means

The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) issued a statement recently recommending that the CDC reverse the new relaxed mask mandate.

“The CDC has acted hastily and prematurely to massively erode what we know to be measures that protect healthcare workers and our communities, mask wearing and social distancing. The stakes could not be higher at a time when the pandemic continues to claim lives every day. The CDC should reverse this dangerous decision immediately,” read the statement from Jamie Brown, RN, president of the MNA.

For all of the work the CDC has done over the past year to get people to put masks on it’s now relying on the same people to use their best judgement and go by the honor system of only taking off the mask if they are vaccinated by relaxing mask wearing guidance.

“I also want to convey that because our guidance changed on Thursday there’s no need for everybody to start ripping off their masks. We have been told for six months to keep ourselves and our families safe by putting a mask on. Those behaviors are going to be really hard to change and there is no mandate to take it off. What we are saying is that now this is safe, work at your own speed, work with your own family and your own businesses to remove them when necessary,” said CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky.

READ MORE: CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 876,854 as of Monday, including 18,627 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes a total of 2,230 new cases and 20 additional deaths over the past two days.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know May 17, 2021


About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.