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Mask mandates could return as Delta variant spreads

State leaders reviewing latest CDC recommendations and COVID-19 cases
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:40 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Mask mandates could be coming back. State decision makers told News 10 Friday they are looking closely at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest recommendations and COVID-19 cases in Michigan.

And some people would support it now that the CDC said the Delta variant is something everyone should take seriously.

“It makes our life really complicated,” said Emily Blakely.

Blakely’s been careful since the pandemic began a year and a half ago. She’s even more worried now that the CDC said the Delta Variant can spread just by being in a room with an infected person.

“It’s really concerning for me. I have an immunocompromised child who is too young to be vaccinated,” Blakely said.

That’s why she’d love to see mask mandates return. Currently, she’s looking at keeping her kids home again in the fall.

“My family is looking at having to do virtual again because the schools don’t have mask mandates. My son could die if he gets COVID,” said Blakely.

But don’t look for the state to force schools to require masks right now.

“Right now, today, we are not looking at a new mandate,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical officer.

Dr. Khaldun told News 10 Friday that could change if cases in Michigan continue to go the wrong direction.

“There’s no specific trigger point, but we are in close communication with our hospitals, with our local health departments,” said Dr. Khaldun.

“We intend to make the guidelines the recommendations we make in state government that they continue to reflect the CDC’s recommendations,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist said the state is reviewing the latest guidelines from the CDC. Dr. Khaldun added people can still wear a mask, even without a mandate, to help slow the spread.

Blakely hopes people will do.

“I would really love it if I felt like the was inconveniencing themselves a little bit to ensure people like my son would live to their sixth birthday,” said Blakely.

Local health departments have the authority to issue their own mask mandate if the state doesn’t. State leaders said they are still focused on getting more people vaccinated before issuing new restrictions.

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