Both the Kent County Health Department and the Ottawa County Health Department have stepped in and mandated masks for all children pre-K through 6th grade in schools.

Children under the age of twelve are currently not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and health officials believe that universal masking in schools will help reduce the spread of the virus among children.

The following exceptions to the mask mandate will be made in schools:

  • Masks do not have to be worn while eating or drinking.
  • Children under four years of age will not be required to wear masks, however masks are recommended for any child aged two or older.
  • Students with developmental conditions for whom wearing a mask impedes their access to education. In these cases, the students must have an IEP, Section 504 Plan or Individualized Healthcare Plan.
  • Teachers who work with children who are hard of hearing or developmental conditions. (Said teachers must be vaccinated.)
  • Students and teachers with medical exemptions that are confirmed by a Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

The order goes into place immediately and will remain in effect until 60 days after the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in children in pre-K through 6th grade by the FDA.

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