Widow concerned Plymouth-Canton Community Schools mask policy will put lives in danger

Substitute teacher contracted COVID-19 and died 22 days later

Widow concerned Plymouth-Canton Community Schools' mask policy will put lives in danger

DETROIT – Plymouth-Canton Community Schools are set to start in-person learning this fall.

They are recommending that students wear a mask in the building, but not requiring it.

One woman who lost her husband to COVID-19 believes the recommendation is not enough.

“A recommendation means nothing during a pandemic. It’s going to take everybody to join together and do this,” said Lauren Lucas.

Lucas is the widow of Don Lucas, a former security guard and substitute teacher in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.

In November Local 4 News brought you his heartbreaking story on how he contracted COVID-19 and died 22 days later.

Details: Plymouth-Canton Schools mourns loss of beloved employee to COVID-19

“I had to make the decision to take life support off of him over the phone,” said Lucas. “It’s a big loss. I’ll never wake up from a nightmare.”

And now as the school year approaches, Lucas is concerned the district’s mask recommendation will put the students and staff in danger.

“The kids are being put at risk. Most of the kids aren’t vaccinated. They’re wide open for this virus,” said Lucas.

The district stated, “Consistent with MDHHS and CDC recommendations, we are strongly recommending -- but not requiring -- the wearing of face masks while indoors for students, staff and regular volunteers.”

However, Michigan’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, says those guidelines are not consistent with CDC recommendations.

”The actual recommendation is that schools have universal masking,” said Khaldun.

Now all she can do is tell the story of her husband and encourage those who aren’t vaccinated to wear a mask.

“I’m my husband’s voice. I’m just going to use my voice. I can’t think of any other way to do it,” said Lucus.

There’s a school board meeting for the district Monday and Lucas plans to be there.

Read more: Education headlines from around Michigan

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 913,220 as of Monday, including 19,958 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes a total of 2,720 new cases and seven additional deaths over the past three days -- an average of 906.67 cases per day. On Friday, the state announced a total of 910,500 cases and 19,951 deaths.

Details: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 913,220; Death toll now at 19,958

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You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.