Michigan Health Departments Dropping Mask and Quarantine Mandates
Michigan's new budget bill, signed Wednesday by Governor Whitmer has forced health departments across the state to drop masking and quarantine mandates. What happened?
Fox 17 reports there is a clause that threatens financial support for any local health departments with COVID-related mandates still in place.
It is MI Senate Bill 82 and House Bill 4400 that says any health department that keeps any COVID-related health mandates in effect past October 1 will be impacted financially.
Bobby Leddy, press secretary for Governor Whitmer, said, "The state of Michigan will not withhold funding from local health departments for implementing universal mask policies or quarantine protocols in local schools that are designed to keep students safe so they can continue learning in person."
Berrien County Health Department was the first to say they were rescinding their order as of that night.
The health department said in a statement that they cannot risk losing dollars.
While the language in the bill prevents local health departments throughout the state from issuing further COVID-related mandates, it does not prevent local school districts from putting orders in place.
What about Kent and other surrounding counties?
The Kent County Health Department said they will announce there decision shortly.
As I write this, Ottawa County has not made a statement.
The Ionia County Health Department has also decided to rescind all of its orders. Barry-Eaton District Health Department said they are "awaiting clarification on the budget language and cannot comment further."
Branch-Hillsdalle- St. Joseph County Health Department announced they would also be rescinding their order.
Allegan County's order requiring K-6 students to wear masks has been rescinded.
Muskegon County no longer has any COVID-related health orders in place, so this bill language isn't having an immediate impact on their operations.
We will all know more in the coming days.