Community Notices

Allegan County K-6 school mask orders are rescinded

The Allegan County Health Department today announced it has rescinded its school mask order over fears continuing the policy could result in loss of state revenue.

The Health Department in August issued an order for all school districts to require masks for all students in grades K-6 because children at those ages are not eligible for vaccines.

The state budget for next year was signed Thursday and it included language that health departments could lose funding if Covid emergency orders are in place as of Oct. 1.

In a press release today, the Health Department said, “The Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) regretfully rescinds the public health order requiring the use of masks for individuals in kindergarten through grade 6 educational settings – or face a loss of over $1 million in our total budget.”

The budget’s language threatens essential public health funding for services such as infectious disease control, public water supply,immunizations and on-site sewage management.

Allegan County Health Officer Angelique Joynes, who has been under considerable political pressure, said in the release, “The decision to rescind the K-6 Mask Requirement was not made lightly and has challenged us ethically, professionally and personally. However, we cannot risk our essential local public health services funding, which is around $1 million of our total budget and provides the ability for us to continue to offer those services.”

Wayland Union Schools Supt. Dr. Christina Hinds, in a letter to parents today, said, “Beginning tomorrow (Oct. 1), face masks are recommended, yet not longer required while in a school building. The change in the county order does not impact the federal mandate concerning public transportation and masks are still required to be worn while on a school bus.”

Hinds said the new order, which took effect Thursday afternoon, means that quarantines will be required for confirmed and probable Covid cases and close contacts. She said at Monday night’s work session that no quarantines had been issued this year since school started, adding, “proper wearing of face masks does impact quarantine decisions.”

Martin Supt. Brooke Ballee-Stone said, “After careful deliberation with all area superintendents, Martin will be joining the county schools in making masks “highly recommended but optional” during school hours for students and employees starting tomorrow.”

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department also has decided to rescind its mask order, which applied to all students and staff, effective at one minute before midnight Thursday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who signed the state budget, wrote in a letter addressed to state lawmakers, “The Public Health code gives health officials the tools they need to protect people from epidemic diseases like COVID-19. The legislature cannot unwind the Public Health Code in the budget bill or un-appropriate funds because they take issue with the actions of local health departments.”

Regardless, the Allegan County Health Department is making the mask order change. Though it was noted that a mask mandate would not threaten funding if the local County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to support the emergency orders. The Allegan County Board voted 6-1 to support rescinding the mask order.


  • Once again tell me about the Health Department basing it’s decisions on science when it comes to Covid-19.
    Sounds like the age old question what would you do for a million dollars?
    The Allegan County Health Department will rescind the mask requirement. Definitely based on sound scientific data….not money or politics.

    • Harry everything is money or politics. Started a long time ago it just got worse in the last four years. I am afraid it is the new norm . I am glad I am one the other side of the hill will not have to put up with it for a life time.

  • How many more bodies? How much more selfish ignorance? Over twenty years ago a WW2 Veteran snuck up along side of me. We were standing in a pilot’s lounge, the wall in front of us was covered entirely by a large map of the world. He spoke bluntly of a concern, he conveyed to me that society seems to have a cycle of opposing spirits of sacrifice, shared responsibility, and respect vs selfishness, greed, and pleasure. His main point was that a generational range can experience immense loss of life do to overall social carelessness. Eventually this loss of people tends to shift the attitudes back to a more respectful culture but it usually takes a lot of bodies. This generation that has developed greater respect inevitably creates an environment that allows the following generation to slide back to carelessness. He felt that it had already been cast that the generation from 1950 to about 1975 would be the ones to let it go, and that it would be the ones born after to survive the consequences and relearn the hard way how to respect each other and that personal sacrifices are required for the success of society.
    Is this the start of decades of unneeded loss of life? The last century had a “plague” followed by a decade of rampant crime, corruption, and celebration capped off with a drastic financial situation. It continued to a major war effort with all resources diverted to the cause, want to talk about loss of rights and freedoms – look what individuals and companies had to deal with then. How Many More Bodies?

  • Let us thank God most children are largely unaffected by the china flu. Children are also not the best at mask wearing. Examples, touching the inside of the masks, noses exposed and many in schools with homemade masks. The homemade masks and the surgical type masks have the effect of a picket fence keeping in/out ants. If we were truley serious about masks for adults, N95s would be used, though they are not recommended for long term use. The surgical masks are really like a childs security blanket. Just my opinions and estimations.

  • David, your estimation as I understand, Is that children wearing masks is not perfect. If the effectiveness doesn’t live up to your arbitrary standards with no measurements or real data, then why bother? You have determined that a percentage of child loss is acceptable, because if we can’t prevent all loss it’s not worth it? Perfection does not exist in reality. It seems that we can let any doubt about the effectiveness of something justify our inaction and dismiss the right to life of other humans living in society. I hope I miss understand you. The apathy of ignorance will be our downfall.

    • Tony,

      More children have been killed by vermin with illegal weapons, that are allowed to run in the chicago streets year to date than by china flu in the USA. Please keep in mind that liberal vermin tend to run that city. While I most certainly respect life that God has created, china flu is not a real concern for our children. Real concerns for them are neglect, single parent homes, obesity and lack of moral guidance. The china flu is here to stay, we might as well acknowledge it and move on. While I am not a biblical scholar, the Bible states in the end times there will be great pestilence.

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