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Marquette County Board of Health votes in support of MCHD school mask order

Community members attended the board’s meeting to express their opinions on the order.
Dr. Bob Lorinser and Health Officer Jerry Messana joined the board to discuss the order.
Dr. Bob Lorinser and Health Officer Jerry Messana joined the board to discuss the order.(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:35 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette County Board of Health has voted in favor of extending the Marquette County Health Department’s school mask order.

The order requires Pre-K through 6th grade staff and students to wear masks.

During a meeting on Wednesday at the Marquette County Courthouse, Health Officer Jerry Messana says after considering rising hospitalizations and test positivity rates, he believes masking up is the best way to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in the community.

“We all have an interest in the kids being in school,” said Messana. “Since the beginning of the school year, there have been 17 full elementary classrooms quarantined, two of which were closed a second time in that period. In addition, we’ve had numerous individual quarantines of elementary students.”

Community members gathered outside the courthouse with signs, expressing their opposition to the order and how they believe it is impacting young children.

“I don’t believe that it’s good for us—any human—to wear the masks for long-term periods of time like they’re being asked to,” said Gwinn resident Kristina Bradbury.

“My responsibility is to myself and to the kids in my community,” said Bill Irving of K. I. Sawyer. “We have to stand up for this; it’s not right.”

The public also voiced their opinions before and after the Board of Health voted. The majority were against the mask requirement.

The board’s decision (a 4 - 0 vote) will go to the Marquette County Board of Commissioners for approval. That meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29 at 3:00 p.m. in room 231 of the courthouse’s Henry A. Skewis Annex.

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