By David Fleet
On Nov. 15 Genesee County Medical Health Officer Dr. Pamela Hackert announced at a press conference that the Genesee County school mask mandate will be lifted on Dec. 22.
Hackert still recommends that school districts require universal masking of students, staff and teachers.
“On Nov. 2 the CDC granted emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine built by Pfizer for children ages 5-11,” she said. “Since Nov. 9, we’ve been giving out vaccines at the health department and it’s available at other sources in the community. There is no shortage of vaccines available. It’s about 1/3 the adult version.”
The Jan. 29, 2021 order from the CDC that everyone in a school bus must wear masks will continue.
Goodrich Superintendent Wayne Wright said a statement from the district regarding the masking and other recommendations is coming.
“We are watching what is happening in the county regarding COVID-19,” said Wright. “The number of positive cases are up, but we are not seeing transmission at school.”
On Aug. 12, 2021 the Genesee County Health Department required all students in kindergarten through sixth grade as well as teachers and staff to wear masks in schools and other indoor educational settings following an announcement. The requirement was expanded to all grades in September.
The county-wide public health order issue from Genesee County Health Department Medical Health Officer Dr. Pamela Hackert took effect immediately and remained until two months after a COVID-19 vaccine is granted emergency use authorization for children ages 5-11 and coronavirus transmission is considered low or moderate by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The mask requirement for students has been an ongoing issue for many since the start of the school year.
School administrators emphasized they did not have the authority to defy a lawful order from the GCHD. The district is obligated to follow the order and will comply, they said..Parents and guardians who have objections should direct their concerns to the GCHD.
Several individuals expressed concerns regarding the masking, including support of the mask mandate.
“If they truly LOVED their children; they would do all they could to protect them by having them follow sound medical expert advice and mask their children,” wrote one parent. “The reason this virus continues to mutate is because people in this country refuse to follow proper protocol. Small sacrifices and discomfort for the short term will allow for a better long term resolution.”
Several also opposed the GCHD mask mandate and responded.
“Really what do the experts really know,” she wrote. “They have gone back and forth on the situation about COVID-19 and masking through the whole pandemic. Really know one will ever know the true outcome of masking because of fear monger. It’s really all about control if you really think about it from the mask to the vaccine.”