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Genesee County plans to announce update for school mask mandate

There was no immediate word on whether restrictions will increase or decrease

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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Changes may be coming for the Genesee County school mask mandate.

The Genesee County Health Department is planning a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday to announce updates to the order issued in August and September, which requires everyone in pre-K through 12th grade educational settings to wear a face covering indoors.

The health department did not immediately say whether the mask order will become more or less restrictive on Monday.

The health department has said the mask order will stay in effect until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowers Genesee County’s transmission rate from high to moderate for at least 14 consecutive days.

The CDC’s COVID-19 transmission rate map showed Genesee County classified as “high” on Monday with a sustained increase in case rates through the fall. The seven-day average of newly confirmed cases around the county topped 387 as of Monday.

Genesee County was the first in Michigan to issue a countywide school mask mandate on Aug. 12. It initially covered kindergarten through sixth grade, but the health department expanded it on Sept. 7 to include pre-K through 12th grade.

The order also covers extracurricular activities and events taking place in schools, including all school board meetings. Youth camps, youth programs, child care centers, tutoring centers, pre-schools, vocational schools, athletics and transportation also are covered.

Everyone in those settings is required to wear a face covering regardless of their COVID-19 vaccine status. Students, staff and volunteers can get a medical waiver. But, it must be in writing from a medical doctor practicing in Michigan who has an ongoing doctor-patient relationship.

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