Dickinson-Iron District Health Department issues mask requirement for educational settings

South Central UP

KINGSFORD, Mich. (WJMN) – Starting on September 20 students kindergarten through grade 6, staff and teachers in Iron County and Dickinson County schools must wear masks in any enclosed building or structure of an educational institution.

The order requires masking regardless of vaccination status of those providing service to any child in kindergarten through grade 6. The requirement is in place until six weeks after the COVID-19 vaccine is available to children ages five years old through 11-years-old, until the CDC transmission levels reach “low” or until further notice from Darren Dayaert, Health Officer.

“By watching these alarming trends in our local data, I feel that this is an important time to act,” said Dayaert. “This act is warranted and temporary to protect those who are not yet eligible to receive protection from the COVID-19 vaccination.”

The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department says they have had 3,261 cases of COVID-19 infections in Dickinson County residents and 1,231 COVID-19 infections in Iron County residents as of September 15. Between September 1 and 15 the health department reports having 382 cases with 37% of which in school-aged children. They say that since the school year began cases have increased 1.5x each week and both counties are designated as having a high level of community transmission by the CDC.

Dickinson County has a positive test rate of 9% and a weekly case rate of 590.3 positive cases per 100,000 population. Iron County has a 9.2% positive test rate and a weekly case rate of 334.3 per 100,000 population. This data is from between September 8 and September 14, 2021.

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