School, health leaders talk mask policies in Michigan schools – MLive.com

School Health Leaders Talk Mask Policies In Michigan Schools Mlive Com
School Health Leaders Talk Mask Policies In Michigan Schools Mlive Com

Despite the debate between health and safety vs. personal choice, Saline Area Schools Superintendent Steve Laatsch says it’s important to remember masks are a key component in helping Michigan students and staff accomplish the same goal this year.

“If we have students contracting COVID, and thus have themselves and close contacts who are doing a lot of quarantining, that really is not helping us with our driving question of keeping students in school five days a week, which we know is better for their academic learning and their socioemotional health,” Laatsch said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration’s is not mandating masking in schools this fall. Instead, she has indicated local health and school leaders are best suited to create mask policies while continuing to “strongly encourage” the use of masks to lower coronavirus transmission rates.

Laatsch and Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail spoke with MLive K-12 educaton reporter Martin Slagter about how school districts and health departments are workng together to shape and implement mask guidance for the coming school year.

In a conversation ranging from how schools will quarantine students to how masks should be worn for various high school sports to who makes the call to pause learning when quarantine numbers are high, Vail and Laatsch offer insights into how they use the latest guidance from state and federal health officials to enforce those policies.

“We will avoid at all cost trying to shut down a district,” Vail said. “What these pauses do is put a hard stop in the cycle of transmission and allow you to settle everything back down and restart.”

You can view the entire conversation in the video above.

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