Why the Lansing School District voted to keep its mask mandate

Why the Lansing School District voted to keep its mask mandate
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 10:31 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Ingham County had rescinded its mask mandate for schools on Feb. 10. It will come to an end Saturday.

Since the county made the decision, school districts have been weighing their options with mask mandates. That was a key item on the Lansing Public School’s Board of Education meeting Thursday night.

The school board heard from the district’s nursing leadership team as they laid out their COVID cases within the district. Afterward, the district voted to keep the mask mandate through the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Dr. Farhan Bhatti pointed out that Sparrow Hospital’s bed occupancy, as of Thursday, is 97% filled. McLaren Hospital was at 89%. He said the district shouldn’t let their guard down while people in the area are still needing to be hospitalized for COVID.

“Waving the ‘Mission Accomplished’ flag at this stage is still premature,” Bhatti said. “What’s more important is not necessarily the numbers, but how the numbers translate into illness. It wouldn’t matter if a large swath of the population was contracting COVID if they weren’t getting sick from COVID. Once hospital utilization goes down across the board, that’s when we can feel good about progress.”

The district’s decision isn’t fully set in stone. The board could vote to change the mandate at any point before the end of the school year.

Related: Post-surge? MDHHS updates mask guidance as state enters a recovery phase

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