Michigan Extends Mask Order, Capacity Limits Amid Surge

post thumbnail image

Image credit: State of Michigan

In addition to existing measures, child care facilities and camps must make a “good faith effort” to ensure children ages 2 to 4 wear face coverings.

Tweet This

LANSING (AP) — Michigan on Friday extended by five weeks a pandemic order that limits business capacity and requires masks in public, even for young children in day care, as the state battles the country’s highest daily coronavirus infection rate.

The measure, which was expected and replaces one that had been due to expire Monday, says that in addition to existing measures, child care facilities and camps must make a “good faith effort” to ensure children ages 2 to 4 wear face coverings starting April 26. That age group was previously exempt.

The revision aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the state health department said.

We are begging for everyone in the community to do their part. Stay home. Wear a mask. Get a vaccine when you are able. We are barely able to keep our heads above water. We are in crisis. We need our communities’ help.” —Jaime Brown, Michigan Nurses Association

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has resisted tightening restrictions that were in place during two previous COVID-19 surges, including prohibitions on indoor restaurant dining, in-person high school instruction and youth sports. She instead is urging a voluntary pause on the activities and pushing vaccinations and treatments.

“We have a tough couple of weeks ahead of us as more infectious B117 COVID variant continues spreading. So to slow the spread, we all have to do our part and double down on what we know works masks, distancing, hand washing,” Whitmer said earlier this week.

The order, signed by Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel, was first issued in the fall following the state Supreme Court’s invalidation of an emergency-powers law the governor had used to write orders.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health, described progress in vaccinations but said she was “incredibly concerned about our state’s COVID-19 data. We are still very much fighting this pandemic and seeing concerning trends in new cases and hospitalizations.”

The state’s daily case rate has led the U.S. for weeks. The number of hospitalized adults with confirmed infections hit a record this week. At the end of March, Michigan was among four states where a more transmissible variant, first identified in Britain, accounted for more than half of cases, according to the CDC.

We are begging for everyone in the community to do their part,” Kalamazoo nurse Jaime Brown, president of the Michigan Nurses Association, said in a statement. “Stay home. Wear a mask. Get a vaccine when you are able. We are barely able to keep our heads above water. We are in crisis. We need our communities’ help.”

At least 43% of residents ages 16 and older have gotten at least one dose, including 29% who are fully vaccinated.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date

WDET is here to keep you informed on essential information, news and resources related to COVID-19.

This is a stressful, insecure time for many. So it’s more important than ever for you, our listeners and readers, who are able to donate to keep supporting WDET’s mission. Please make a gift today.


Donate today »

Associated Press

AP, which is headquartered in New York, operates in more than 280 locations worldwide


Stay connected to Detroit