OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (CBS Detroit) -- Health officials with the Oakland County Health Division announced Friday that mask requirements in schools and daycares will end on Feb. 28.
The department said it weighed several factors, including a sharp decline in new COVID cases and hospitalizations and increasing vaccination rates. Officials said the two-week notice would provide school districts time to prepare staff, families and board members and make any necessary district-level decisions and politics.
"As we see our critical measures of vaccinations, hospital admissions, and cases moving in a direction that tell us the COVID-19 impact on our community is greatly improving, the time is right to remove the mask order for daycares and educational institutions," said Dr. Russell Faust, director of Health Division.
"We must remain vigilant, however, while we remain in a pandemic. It is vital that we as individuals maintain the measures that are critical to limiting the spread of the virus while allowing businesses and schools to stay open, and our hospitals to operate safely."
Health officials say they will continue to guide and support districts to ensure they use public health tools to limit the spread.
The department said the county's positivity dropped nearly 50%, and cases during the week of Feb. 6 declined by 40%. Additionally, the seven-day case average for Feb. 8 fell 83% from its peak in January.
"We are now at a place in the pandemic where an emergency health order should be replaced by individual action to protect ourselves, especially masking in public and getting vaccinated. As the local public health agency, we are committed to continuing our support of local school districts by providing best practices, current COVID-19 data, and recommendations for staying safe and healthy," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, director of Oakland County Health and Human.
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