LIVONIA, Mich. – The Livonia Public Schools district is requiring masks be worn in schools by students in pre-K through 6th grade as the fall semester gets underway.
Livonia joins a growing list of southeastern Michigan school districts that have decided to start the 2021-22 school calendar with a mask mandate for children under 12 years old.
The district said it is not requiring masks for children in grades above 6th because those students (12 and up) are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this stage in the pandemic. However, the district is strongly recommending mask wearing for students in grades 7-12.
“It is recognized that students may choose to wear masks in addition to being vaccinated, as it provides an additional layer of protection for themselves and others. This is welcomed and will be fully supported,” reads a statement from the district.
Here are the mask requirements issued by the Livonia Public School district this week:
- Masks are required for all students (except when eating/drinking or during outdoor activity) from pre-K-6th grade, as students in that age group are unable to have the protection of a vaccine.
- Mask wearing is strongly recommended for all students grades 7-12 and post-secondary students.
- Mask wearing is required for all students, staff and volunteers riding in school buses per federal guidelines (school, athletics, field trips, activities, etc).
- Mask wearing may also be required for large-scale events based on a review of factors such as duration of event, number of people in attendance, indoor location, etc. This will be clearly communicated to attendees.
Masks will be provided to those who do not have them. Allowable face coverings include:
- Reusable facial coverings (must be washed daily)
- Disposal masks (must be disposed of daily)
- Gaiters (two-layer neck and face sleeve)
Exceptions: Students who have a documented medical condition must provide written paperwork from a medical doctor and the principal must contact the Director of Student Services. For students unable to tolerate a face mask due to a documented medical condition, a clear face shield or transparent partition will be provided for their own safety as well as the well being of those around them.
Michigan health officials have recommended universal mask wearing for all students and school staff in the fall as COVID-19 cases trend upward once again, in line with guidance from the CDC. The state is not planning to issue a mask mandate at schools, however.
Individual school districts have been left to decide if masks should be mandated or not at their schools. Several Michigan districts have announced plans to require masks at their schools.
Moreover, some county health departments have issued superseding public health orders that are requiring masks in schools for specific age groups.