Ford reinstating mask mandate at facilities in areas with ‘high’ COVID risk

Temporary mask mandate established at Metro Detroit facilities

This photo provided by Ford shows Dane Hardware, Ford Motor Co. design and release engineer, and Mary Fredrick, Ford Motor Co. battery validation engineer, measure the voltage of a battery using a digital multi-meter at Fords Battery Benchmarking and Test Laboratory in Allen Park, Mich., on April 6, 2021. (Ford via AP) (Uncredited)

DETROITFord Motor Company employees and visitors will once again be required to wear face masks at facilities that are in regions identified as having a high COVID risk, officials said Saturday.

A temporary face mask mandate is taking effect at Ford facilities in Metro Detroit as a number of Southeastern Michigan counties have been labeled as experiencing “high” community COVID transmission by the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC).

“The health and safety of our workforce is our top priority as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation,” said Kelli Felker, Ford spokesperson. “We are temporarily reinstating a face mask requirement at all Ford facilities located in areas that the CDC has classified as orange/high-risk due increased COVID-19 cases which currently impacts Wayne, Washtenaw, and Macomb counties.”

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Michigan in recent weeks after weeks of decreased virus spread. On Thursday, May 12, six Metro Detroit counties -- Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne -- were upgraded from a “medium” risk category to a high risk category by the CDC. The agency urges people in high risk counties to wear face masks when indoors in public to help prevent COVID transmission.

See here: Interactive map: COVID community levels and case rates by Michigan county

Officials did not say how long the temporary mask mandate would be in effect for.

Ford, alongside General Motors and Stellantis, lifted its face mask mandate in March, making masks optional for staff and visitors. Officials said then that they planned to monitor data and CDC guidelines and would make adjustments as needed.

Read more: CDC recommends masks in Metro Detroit due to ‘high’ COVID spread

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.