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Mask mandate extended, expanded to include children ages 2-to-4

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) -

Capacity restrictions at indoor venues around the state have been extended to May 24th.

The State Health department made that announcement on Friday also requiring people to wear a mask in public places until late May. But that mask order is also expanding.

Children ages 2-to-4 are now included in the requirement. Children will be required to wear face coverings in child care facilities and at camps.

Some local day care and preschool facilities say they aren’t sure about this new requirement.

“I could not even fathom a two year old, some two year old can’t even freaking walk yet and you’re going to tell them that you have to put a mask over their face. It’s just beyond senseless in my opinion,” said Becky Brenay.

Brenay is the director with the St. John’s Lutheran Preschool in Bay County.

She feels like masks would hinder children’s immune system rather than help prevent them from getting sick.

One daycare in Genesee County spoke off camera also disagreeing with the face mask order saying that they believe asking 2-to-4 year olds to wear face coverings is more of a health hazard than a safety measure.

The health department says the order is based off the recommendation from the American academy of pediatrics and centers for disease control and prevention to reduce the COVID-19 spread among young children.

Dr. Nuzhat Ali with Prime Pediatrics and Adolescents says she understands the frustration coming from facilities and parents who are concerned about children keeping the mask on.

“As a mother as a pediatrician, I cannot just even imagine trying to put it on a two year old. And, you know, letting them read it for eight to 10 hours a day, I mean it’s just, it’s just something which is, I don’t think it’s doable,” said Dr. Ali.

Melissa Denton a mom of 2 four-year-olds and COVID nurse in the Mid-Michigan area says her daughters have no problem with wearing a mask while at daycare and that in order to get past this pandemic everyone should continue practicing COVID-19 safety.

“This could potentially protect you or someone else around you. Sometimes you’re going to have to do things that you don’t want to do, sometimes you got to think about other people and just do it, and my girls honestly they’ve been great with it,” Denton said.

The new order takes effect April 26th.

To see the full extension of the gatherings and mask epidemic order, click on the link HERE.

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