The three phases allow Michigan residents and politicians to understand the extent to which they should use COVID control tools – camouflage, social distancing and other measures – in the future, Marquez said.
MDHHS said the future mask guide would be based on three factors:
- Response phase: If local or state health care introduce a rapid response policy to combat future outbreaks, the public may be advised to increase camouflage, testing, and social distancing.
- Recovery phase: If the surge is over and no immediate resurgence is predicted, health officials will monitor conditions that could lead to future jumps.
- Readiness phase: If an outbreak of cases that pose a serious risk of disease and hospitalization is expected, the state will report these risks to the public.
“The new leadership is really talking about a different situation we are in now, but most of all it’s a shift in how we treat the races and how we manage them,” Marquez said.
MDHHS continues to encourage “all persons, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to practice universal camouflage in high-risk congregations, including long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, prisons, and medical facilities”.
He also recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask during isolation and quarantine.
Although the MDHHS mask recommendations from last June were only recommended, Whitmer strongly supported local mask mandates amid rising new COVID cases last September when the school year began.
Whitmer signed a budget bill in late September, which included a Republican ordinance stating that counties could lose funding if masked mandates are introduced, but she said she was ready to do so because she considered the ordinance “unenforceable” and continued to support the county’s efforts to retain mandates.
“Local health departments must maintain a mask policy,” said Whitmer spokeswoman Bobby Lady. the statement said last September. At the time, the number of COVID-19 cases was growing rapidly, especially among school-age children.
Vague influence on other mandates
Some of the last orders of the district school masks were to remain in force until February 28, and it was not immediately clear whether the updated state guidelines on Wednesday changed that date.
This was stated by Auckland County spokesman Bill Mulan county position remains unchanged, and the order of school masks remains in effect until February 28 to give school administrators time to adjust their policies.
Auckland County’s decision last week was in line with Wednesday’s new state guidelines – that masks are recommended in high-risk areas, and that schools and local health departments should consider local cases and other factors when determining school mandates, he said.
In addition, Marquez said it was “reasonable” that the Washington County requirement remains in effect until Feb. 28.
Woodhaven-Brownstown School Superintendent Mark Greathead told Bridge Michigan that Wednesday’s announcement didn’t necessarily change anything in his county.
“We will continue to work with the local health department,” he said.