Health department urging use of masks as COVID-19 rate rise

FLINT — Cases of COVID-19 in Genesee County have been on the rise over the past month, increasing the county’s MI Safe Start risk level.

In addition, cases of COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant (significantly more contagious that previous SARS-CoV-2 viruses) are now 90 percent of the cases in the county. In response to this, the Medical Health Officer, has issued the following indoor masking directive:

Everyone while indoors in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, public transportation including school buses, and certain health care settings, including doctor’s offices, long-term care, and hospitals MUST wear a well-fitted mask and adhere to guidance from MDHHS per the CDC guidelines. (This is a MDHHS mandate)

Effective immediately, everyone 5 years of age and older in Genesee County schools should wear a face covering within indoor spaces, unless a county-approved method is used to assure that all people allowed inside have been fully vaccinated, health department officials said.

Children age two, three, or four years old, while exempt from this official directive, are also recommended to wear a face covering with the assistance and close supervision of an adult while indoors in a school or day care setting.

While not a mandate, this is a strong recommendation and all people are urged to voluntarily comply with this directive, the GCHD said.

“We know that combining masks and vaccines will protect ourselves and our community against this fast-changing virus<’ GCHD said in a statement on social media.

This directive will remain in effect until the health department confirms that the risk of COVID-19 infections for residents has decreased substantially.

Read the full Indoor Masking Directive here: bit.ly/2WTwByB.