Van Buren/Cass District Health Department recommends masks indoors for all regardless of vaccine status

SOUTHWST MICHIGAN — One area health department is recommending masks for all individuals indoors — regardless of vaccine status.

The Centers on Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended, due to the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant, that even fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Given new evidence, the CDC is also recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, indicating that children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Van Buren/Cass District Health Department support the new CDC recommendations and encourage schools and businesses to consider the latest recommendations when determining mitigation strategies for their buildings.

To assist business and school leaders in determining which mitigation strategies to follow, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department will provide a transmission matrix, displaying where local infection data intersects with suggested minimal mitigation efforts by the CDC and MDHHS.  At the present time, both Cass and Van Buren counties are in a level of substantial community transmission, with 38 cases and a 6.4 percent positivity rate in Van Buren County and 28 cases and a 6.6 percent positivity rate in Cass County.

At this time, in Cass and Van Buren County, mask-wearing is recommended for all individuals – fully vaccinated and unvaccinated – while indoors in public.

“We share in the frustration brought on by the length of this pandemic and the changing recommendations and requirements,” said Danielle Persky, health officer. “While we are still learning about this virus and the new, more serious variants, what we do know is that the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against the virus.  We encourage county and community leaders, businesses and schools to join us in urging all residents to get the vaccine as soon as possible.”

For information on where to get a COVID-19 vaccine locally, visit vbcassdhd.org/covid-19-vaccine or vaccines.gov.

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