Michigan school district makes masks mandatory after community vote

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Masks are mandatory in a Southwestern Michigan school district after officials framed the policy in an unusual way: they voted the people.

Pennfield District parents, guardians and staff voted for masks, starting Monday and running through February 18. There were 1,041 votes and approximately 58% were in favour.

Masks to reduce the risk of COVID-19 will not be required for extracurricular activities or sporting events in the Battle Creek District, although they are strongly recommended.

Related: Doctors advise against cloth masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Classes have been online since January 14.

Pennfield has had at least six outbreaks of COVID-19, according to the Calhoun County Health Department.

Acting Superintendent Don Myers believes the masks were favored because the community is “tired of students being quarantined all the time.”

“We just want to make Pennfield a good place for our students and a safe place, and we’re doing everything we can to reduce the virus,” Myers told WWMT-TV.

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