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Gov. Whitmer signs order that requires masks in child care facilities

 (Source: Governor Gretchen Whitmer's office)
(Source: Governor Gretchen Whitmer's office) (WILX)
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 2:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that requires face coverings to be worn in all child-care centers and camps. Michigan has seen many COVID-19 outbreaks at these locations, which contributes to evidence that children can contract and spread the virus. By requiring masks, child-care centers and camps can remain open while keeping children and staff members safe.  

“Child-care workers have been on the front lines of this crisis and have worked tirelessly to provide a safe place for our children and families during this time. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to protect people of all ages from COVID-19. By masking up, we can all be a part of the solution to further prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.” 

The executive order requires all staff and children ages two and up to wear a face covering on a school bus or other transportation. Also, staff and children ages 4 and up must wear a face covering in all indoor common spaces. All staff and all children 12 and older are required to wear a face covering when in classrooms, homes, cabins, or similar indoor small-group settings. The governor also strongly encourages that all children ages 2 and up wear face coverings when indoors. 

“Masks continue to be one of the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, and they can be safely worn by most of us over the age of two,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy for health. “Be a role model for your children and demonstrate the importance of wearing a mask. Have your child practice properly wearing a mask – over their nose, mouth and chin – while they are at home so they are comfortable with it in public. It will take all of us, of all ages, doing our part to continue slowing the spread of this disease and to protect our families and communities.”  

If a child-care center is located in a region in Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, then face coverings are not required. However, they are still strongly recommended. Furthermore, face coverings are not required for any child who cannot medically tolerate it, during meal time, while swimming, during high-intensity activities, outside while physically distanced, or if a child is under the age of 2. 

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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