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Kalamazoo and Allegan County issue mask mandate in schools to protect kids under 12

young girl and boy with masks and backbacks on
Kelly Sikkena

Update 8/19: Allegan County Health Department has also issued a mask mandate for schools because COVID-19 transmission rates are high in the county.

It's nearly identical to the one signed earlier this week in Kalamazoo County.

The health department's directive notes that children can still become severely ill from the coronavirus, even though the risk is lower for them than adults, and that wearing masks will reduce the risk.

Kalamazoo County Health Department today issued a mask mandate aimed at protecting school-aged kids who are not old enough to get a coronavirus vaccine.

The mask mandate is for all students kindergarten through 6th grade while they’re inside a school building. The mandate also applies to any teachers and staff members who work with that age group, regardless of vaccination status.

There are some exceptions, including those who work with people who are hard of hearing or when a person is eating.

The order is effective immediately. It will last until six weeks after a vaccine is available for kids between 5 and 11.

Genesee County Health Department issued a similar mandate last week.

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