(Editor’s note: This school masks database has been updated and will continue to be updated as new information on school masking policies is received.)
At least 237 of the state’s 533 traditional school districts and about 766,000 students – 61% of all Michigan public school students – now have a mask mandate.
In some of the 237 districts, only elementary school students, who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, will face a mask warrant. While in others all students must wear face coverings. The figure of 766,000 represents the students who will have to wear masks.
Debate over whether to force students and staff to wear masks inside school buildings this school year intensifies across Michigan, turning school board meetings into battlegrounds and leaving parents opposed to each other.
State officials “strongly recommend” that face masks be worn in schools amid an increase in the delta variant of COVID-19, but stopped ahead of a mandate similar to the scale order State issued in the 2020-21 school year.
The result is a patchwork of face mask policies across counties and school districts.
Some counties and individual school districts have made masks mandatory for students and staff, some are making masks optional, and still others have not made a final decision a few days before the start of fall classes.
Data released by the state and published here as a searchable database provides information on current mask policies for many of Michigan’s public school districts 537.
A few caveats about this database:
- Information is incomplete because some districts have not made decisions or their policies are not yet readily available on their websites.
- Some school districts continue to change their policies as they follow recommendations or mandates from local health departments and more information is being gleaned on the current state of the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
- Some districts with warrants require masks for all students, while others require face covers only for elementary school students, who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Some county health departments issue mask warrants, which override policies previously established in school districts in those counties.
- Most districts that do not require masks still strongly recommend the wearing of masks in schools. Some particularly urge unvaccinated people to wear masks.
- Even in neighborhoods where masks are not mandatory, students and staff must wear them on school buses. This is due to a federal ordinance requiring masks on public transport.