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‘All staff and students’ back to masks at East Lansing Public Schools

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 12:28 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As the pandemic rises and falls, schools are being forced to adapt as the situation with COVID-19 changes.

In times when the case numbers have been down, precautions are kept loose. In times when there are more infections spreading through a community, leaders generally tighten restrictions to stop the spread.

Background: Changes to mask guidance as Jackson County moves down to ‘medium’ COVID transmission level

Now, as COVID cases are up throughout the state, East Lansing Public Schools are returning to masks.

Dori Leyko is the Superintendent of East Lansing Public Schools. She says the mask requirement is not a policy change, but part of existing precautions that were decided when masks were made optional at an April 11 meeting of the Board of Education.

“The approved motion included language that the mask mandate would be reinstated if the CDC risk level for Ingham County increased to the Medium or High level,” Leyko wrote in an email. “Yesterday, the CDC identified Ingham County to be in the Medium Risk Level.”

The case numbers have been growing in Mid-Michigan, and they’re expected to rise more in the coming days.

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The US never attained a high enough vaccination rate to have a real shot at beating COVID so, as the disease spreads easily to the unvaccinated and gets more chances to get past the tougher defenses of the vaccinated, it will continue to come and go in waves. Accordingly, mask mandates will come and go as well.

East Lansing schools will require masks for all students and staff as of Monday, May 16.

“Each building will have masks on hand,” Leyko wrote. “All staff and students (with exceptions for those with Medical Mask Exemption forms approved by ELPS) will be expected to wear a well-fitting mask beginning Monday morning.”

School officials say they hope the mandate will help slow the spread of COVID within schools and the community in general.

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