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Michigan issuing face mask advisory for Thanksgiving week

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a face mask advisory to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the flu.

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan residents age 2 and older are advised to wear a face mask at indoor gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the voluntary advisory on Friday, urging everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the holiday. The advisory comes amid an increase in COVID-19 and influenza cases around the state.

Mask tips

Face mask tips from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

“The increases in case counts, percent positivity and hospitalizations have us very concerned,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We are issuing the face mask advisory and are looking to Michiganders to do their part to help protect their friends, their families and their communities by wearing a mask in indoor settings and getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu as soon as possible if they have not already done so.”

Mid Michigan urgent cares swamped with covid patients as cases statewide continue climbing

State health officials also are asking businesses to implement face mask policies for all customers and employees regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. The face mask advisory will remain in effect indefinitely.

“COVID-19 cases are high as we head into the holidays, and we must take every measure we can to keep our families and loved ones safe -- which starts with getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive.

Hospitals at full capacity fear for another holiday COVID surge

Hospitals around Michigan are nearing crisis levels with increasing numbers of COVID-19 and flu patients stretching their ability to provide adequate treatment. They hope people will heed the face mask advisory to prevent the spread of both illnesses and reduce the strain on them.

“What we’re seeing is truly unprecedented,” said Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, president of Spectrum Health West Michigan. “Our teams are tired but working hard to care for their communities. We’re counting on people to help us by getting vaccinated or getting a booster dose if eligible, wearing masks and being smart about holiday gatherings.”

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