Featured photo: Dr. Pamela Hackert , Genesee County Medical Health Officer
An updated school masking order states that the school mask mandate will be lifted Dec. 22. This date will be six weeks after the COVID-19 vaccine became available to children ages 5-11.
“That gives people a couple weeks to make their decisions, talk about it with their doctors and then get the second dose and then give the children two weeks,” said Dr. Pamela Hackert , Genesee County medical health officer.
Since those under age 5 are not able to get the vaccine, the order will still be in effect for children in that age group.
Masks must be worn by everyone of a school bus, and that still continues to be in effect.
“This order does not change that and neither does this order repel any of your orders that are existing through MDHHS.” Hackert said.
Helania Burt, of Grand Blanc, is facing several charges after allegedly threatening the medical health officer because of the mask mandate and is scheduled for a trial in February of next year.
Hackert said she was concerned that once the mask mandate is lifted that the number cases of COVID-19 within the county may go up. But she said since there is over a 90% efficacy for vaccinated children, the vaccine was the major way to protect people.
“We are really giving as much information as we can,” Hackert said. “They (the number of cases) are trending about the same as the state’s. However, this is something that we now have; the best way to protect children is vaccines, and that is a parental choice.”
Hackert also mentioned the fact that there is a possibility a variant the medical community has no knowledge of will arise which the vaccine will work against.
For the time being, she verified the number of children getting vaccinated has increased since the county has partnered with the schools. Also, parents who had not been vaccinated are getting the vaccine with their children.
To read the entire updated order, click here: https://www.gchd.us/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/School-Masking-Order-update-November-15-2021-final-with-signature-002.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3sv-rXlakDsA_HdYzRyp5Lrpf8WNaqsuNGFht0uQWk5MZ-m2O_rbPuMFk