LANSING, MI (LIMTV) – Michigan on Friday extended for five weeks a pandemic order limiting business capacity and requiring the use of facemasks in public, even for young children in daycare centers, as the state battles the highest daily coronavirus infection rate in the country.
The measure, which was expected and replaces another that expired Monday, says that in addition to existing measures, daycare centers and campgrounds must make a “good faith effort” to ensure that children ages 2 to 4 wear face masks beginning April 26. Previously, this age group was exempt from this measure.
This aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the state health department said.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been reluctant to tighten restrictions that were in place during the two previous waves of COVID-19, including bans on indoor dining, in-person high school instruction, and youth sports. Instead, it is urging a voluntary pause in activities and pushing for vaccinations and treatments.
The order, signed by Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel, was first issued in the fall after the state Supreme Court invalidated an Emergency Powers Act that the governor had used to draft the orders.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical officer, and deputy chief health officer, described progress on vaccination but said she was “incredibly concerned about our state’s COVID-19 data. We are still very much fighting this pandemic and are seeing troubling trends in terms of new cases and hospitalizations.”
At least 43% of residents 16 and older have been vaccinated at least once, including 29% who are fully vaccinated.