DETROIT – Michigan is allowing individual districts and county health departments to make mask policy -- a move that education groups call a cop out.
“We need health experts to stop pointing fingers at schools and to start stepping up and making decisions themselves about what are health decisions,” said Robert McCann, executive director of K-12 Alliance of Michigan.
The mask issue has led to raucous schools board meetings where the pro versus anti-mask parents have shown up in droves. Only three county health departments -- Allegan, Kalamazoo and Genesee -- currently have instituted mandatory masks for students kindergarten through sixth grade.
Hundreds of parents pushed back on that decision in Flint. A check of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties has none of them considering a school mask mandate at this time. Community spread of COVID-19 in Michigan is currently classified as high.
Study looks at reducing risk of COVID spread on school buses
Many children will be getting back on a bus to go to school this fall and some parents are concerned about so many children being packed in so close together.
Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters wanted to found out how easily COVID-19 could spread on school buses running at near capacity. Dr. Dana Ramirez is the lead author. Ramirez is a research and associate professor of pediatrics.
“There was a school in Virginia, an independent school named Norfolk Academy, that was transporting children on near full school buses for five days a week of in-person learning and so we approached them to see if we could study how they had set this up,” Ramirez said.