Grand Ledge to require masks in upcoming school year

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2021 at 9:13 PM EDT
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GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (WILX) - Monday, the Grand Ledge School Board voted to require all students, staff and faculty to wear masks in school regardless of vaccination status. The vote was 5-2.

The move comes as the Delta variant, which is significantly more contagious, has become the most commonly encountered variant of COVID-19. Delta is also thought to be more harmful to children and has an easier time infecting vaccinated individuals.

Across mid-Michigan cases are up as vaccinations have stagnated, though the potential full FDA approval of existing vaccines may be a silver lining on that front. The FDA has only granted emergency-use approval of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but the agency is expected to soon give full approval to Pfizer.

State totals are now at 913,220 cases and 19,958 deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he was hopeful for FDA approval of the vaccine in the near future.

“I hope — I don’t predict — I hope that it will be within the next few weeks. I hope it’s within the month of August,” Fauci said.

Other schools districts requiring masks include Okemos, Holt and Lansing. However, in Lansing’s case, the mask mandate is only for children under 12, since they cannot currently get vaccinated.

The policy will begin Monday, Aug. 16. It does not have a set end date, though that may change as conditions do.

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