Health officials in Michigan are calling for a statewide mask mandate for all kindergarten through 12th-grade students, asking Michigan leadership to institute the policy in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state.

The Michigan Association for Local Public Health initiated the request to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, contacting Director Elizabeth Hertel on Friday (9/27).

The letter, obtained by Mlive, calls for a mandatory mask mandate "at the very least until this COVID-19 wave has passed."

“Leaving COVID-19 control response to local officials has put many of them in professional and personal danger,” says Norm Hess, the executive director of the Michigan Association for Local Public Health. “Angry protest mobs in local communities around the state are bullying local officials and preventing them from implementing local mitigation measures.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has strongly recommended that schools across Michigan adopt a mask mandate, but as of yet has not made such a policy mandatory.

Genesee County health officials, however, implemented mask requirements for elementary students in our county in August and extended the mandate to include all students in Pre-K through 12th-grade on September 2.

In the letter to MDHHS, Hess contends that there would be greater acceptance from the public if a mandate was made at the state level, rather than by local health officials.

“You shared with us your belief that local residents would more readily accept a local mandate,” the letter to Hertel reads. “We confidently report this has not worked as planned.

A spokesperson for the MDHHS tells Mlive that the state health department doesn't feel that a state mandate is warranted at this time.

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