As COVID-19 cases surge in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is expanding her mask mandate order to include toddlers.
“The mask requirement previously exempted children younger than the age of 5. Expanding the mask rule to children ages 2 to 4 also requires ‘a good faith effort to ensure that these children wear masks while in gatherings at childcare facilities or camps,'” according to The Detroit News.
“Michigan continues to implement smart health policies and mitigation measures to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said. “This includes the requirement to wear a mask while in public and at gatherings, limits on indoor residential social gatherings larger than 15 people with no more than three households, and expanded testing requirements for youth sports.”
But Michigan is lagging behind the rest of the country, which is coming out of the pandemic. Some states, like Texas and Florida, have removed all COVID-19 restrictions, and are none the worse for wear. Meanwhile, as Michigan ramps up the restrictions, its caseload continues to soar.
“Michigan has led the nation in new cases per population for more than 15 days. Last week, the state reported record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 47,284 new infections, a 20-week high,” The Detroit News reported last week.
Whitmer has spent the past weeks making excuses for the state’s high infection rate.
She told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she was working with “a smaller set of tools,” despite having the entire MDHHS under her control. She passed the buck to Republicans in the state legislature and on the state Supreme Court.
“We’re now in a much different position,” Whitmer said. “On top of that, in the waning months, I have been sued by my Legislature. I have lost in a Republican-controlled Supreme Court. And I don’t have all of the exact same tools.”
Whitmer lost her emergency order authority after she banned gatherings at private residences, which was taken to the state Supreme Court and deemed unconstitutional, along with her power to make emergency health mandates.
– – –