Oakland, Washtenaw join counties planning to end K-12 mask mandates

“It is a pandemic shifting into an endemic,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail

The rolling back of school mask mandates continued Friday, Feb. 11, as Oakland and Washtenaw Counties joined Ingham County on the list of those who plan to lift their mask requirements for k-12 schools and daycares.

DETROIT – The rolling back of school mask mandates continued Friday, Feb. 11, as Oakland and Washtenaw counties joined Ingham County on the list of those who plan to lift their mask requirements for K-12 schools and daycares.

Both counties policies will remain in effect until Feb. 28. Oakland County Friday (Feb. 11) is the latest health department to remove the school mask mandates, effective Feb. 28.

“For the past several weeks, our health officer has been talking to her colleagues and her county medical director,” said Bill Mullan, Spokesperson of Oakland County. “Looking at the data, we feel we’ve reached that time. We’ve seen a significant drop in cases and hospitalizations.”

Ingham County’s school mask mandate disappears Feb. 19.

“It is a pandemic shifting into an endemic,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail. “We know that we’re going to have COVID and that we’re going to be living with it, and we’re kind of entering that stage.”

Read: Face mask mandates ending for Michigan schools: Are parents ready?

Washtenaw County also announced today, Feb. 28 the mask mandate would go away. In Macomb County, there has never been a mask mandate; however, numerous districts in the ISD have required masks.

In a recent interview, Dr. Robert Livernois, the Superintendent of the Warren Consolidated School District with more than 13,000 students, credits having a mask mandate would keep more kids in in-person learning.

“We made the decision in September to require that students and staff and all visitors wear a mask, and our numbers are substantially lower than places where masks are optional,” said Dr. Livernois. “Despite the heavy political debate about masks, in our experience here, they have served us extraordinarily well.”


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.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.