According to the CDC, the total number of counties in Michigan that should be masking up has climbed from 44 to 59. Michigan has 17 communities classified as “high” transmission areas.

Black teacher with a face mask explaining exam results to elementary student in the classroom.
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The latest counties to reach high enough case and positive test rates to recommend indoor masking for all individuals include Alcona, Antrim, Arenac, Baraga, Bay, Berrien, Emmet, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Kent, Lapeer, Luce, Manistee, Newaygo, Manistee, Ottawa and St. Clair counties. This is regardless of vaccination status.

Travelers arrive to LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal wearing medical masks for protection against the novel coronavirus outbreak on February 2, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The United States has declared a public health emergency and will implement strict travel restrictions later today. Foreign nationals who have been in China in the last two weeks and are not immediate family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents will be barred from entering the U.S. Meanwhile, about 195 U.S. citizens who were evacuated from China to March Air Reserve in California are under under quarantine at the base, prohibited from leaving until it is determined that they will not develop symptoms of the disease.
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As a state, Michigan recently moved up from the moderate level to the substantial level, while the nation has stayed at high transmission.

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Michigan is averaging 938 cases per day over the last week. Hospitalizations are also on the rise, and positive test rates have surpassed 6%.

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The Center for Disease Control is saying the Delta variant is currently the predominant strain of the virus in the United States. Of the variant, the CDC says:

  • The Delta variant is more contagious
  • The Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated persons
  • Unvaccinated people remain the greatest concern
  • Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others
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The Kent County Health Department recently met with superintendents to encourage the use of masks within schools at all grade levels. Superintendents and the Kent County Health Department are recommending, but not requiring, masking for teachers, students, staff and visitors in grades K-12. This plan is subject to change.

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Dr. Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department said,

"The vast majority of people who are becoming infected with COVID-19 in Kent County are unvaccinated. The vaccines that are available are effective, safe and available. They remain our best tool for ending this pandemic, so we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible."