Barry-Eaton lifting emergency COVID orders

(Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via AP, File)
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - Colette Scrimger, health officer for the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD), is rescinding two significant emergency orders. They are EO 2021-1 and EO 2021-2.

The orders require face coverings in schools, and also require schools to have quarantine and isolation procedures in place in case of an outbreak. The orders were issued because of a public health code that authorizes health officers to “take actions and make determinations necessary or appropriate to carry out the local health department’s functions to protect the public health and prevent disease.”

However, these orders are being lifted as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday night. Language in the Fiscal 2022 state budget purports to restrict funding to local health departments that have emergency orders in effect as of Oct. 1 2021. To avoid this, BEDHD will rescind EO 2021-1 and EO 2021-2.

“We urge our local school districts and other educational settings to continue to implement universal masking policies and follow quarantine best practices. It’s critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 within schools and our communities,” said Scrimger. “We will continue to evaluate the situation and will consider issuing orders in the future as the question of the constitutionality of Senate Bill 82 and House Bill 4400 becomes clearer and if community conditions necessitate such orders.”

Schools can still adopt their own policies that require masking and follow recommended quarantine and isolation procedures.

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