Order Mandates Masks at Camps, Child Care Centers

Kids riding a school bus or other transportation and children and staff in a child care center or indoors at a camp have to start wearing masks indoors beginning Monday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday signed Executive Order 2020-164 which requires face coverings to be worn in all child-care centers and camps. In a release, the governor’s office said Michigan has seen COVID-19 outbreaks at these locations, adding to the mounting evidence that children can contract and spread the virus.

By requiring face coverings, child-care centers and camps can remain open while keeping children and staff members safe.   

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“Child-care workers have been on the front lines of this crisis and have worked tirelessly to provide a safe place for our children and families during this time,” Whitmer said. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said masks “continue to be one of the best ways” to contain the spread of COVID-19, pointing out that masks can be safely worn by “most of us over the age of 2.”

“Be a role model for your children and demonstrate the importance of wearing a mask,” Khaldun urged. “Have your child practice properly wearing a mask – over their nose, mouth and chin – while they are at home so they are comfortable with it in public. It will take all of us, of all ages, doing our part to continue slowing the spread of this disease and to protect our families and communities.”   

Executive Order 2020-164 requires all staff and children ages 2 and up to wear a face covering on a school bus or other transportation. Additionally, all staff and children ages 4 and up must wear a face covering in all indoor common spaces. All staff and all children 12 and older are required to wear a face covering when in classrooms, homes, cabins, or similar indoor small-group settings.

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The governor also strongly encourages that all children ages 2 and up wear face coverings when indoors. These rules align with the existing rules on face coverings that already apply to preK-12 schools across Michigan.  

If a child-care center is located in a region in Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan (currently only the Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City area are in Phase 5), face coverings are not required, but are still strongly recommended. Furthermore, face coverings are not required for any child who cannot medically tolerate it, during meal time, while swimming, during high-intensity activities, outside while physically distanced, or if a child is under the age of 2.  

Child-care centers and camps may use facilities that are otherwise closed under Executive Order 2020-160. Furthermore, child-care centers and camps must follow additional guidelines on infection control as determined by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  

The governor also extended Executive Order 2020-146 until August 15, 2020.