More School Districts Enact Mask Mandates

FILE - In this June 3, 2021 file photo California Gov. Gavin Newsom walks with San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Geary Street to a news conference outside Tommy's Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. San Francisco will require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for a number of indoor activities such as visiting restaurants, bars and gyms. A city supervisor confirmed the new mandate shortly before Breed was scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg,File)

(AP)–Western Michigan’s two largest counties ordered masks in schools through sixth grade Friday, citing the risk of the COVID-19 delta variant and young children who don’t qualify for vaccines.

The orders came from health departments in Kent and Ottawa counties.

Teachers and staff members who are vaccinated still must wear masks in schools, the counties said.

Kent and Ottawa join at least three counties with similar school mask policies: Allegan, Kalamazoo and Genesee. Some school districts elsewhere are acting on their own.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declined to order a statewide mask mandate in schools, though her chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said it would likely reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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