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00000178-73c0-ddab-a97a-7bf830af0000From debate over childhood vaccinations to the changing business of hospital finance, IPR has the stories of hospitals and public health that affect northern Michigan.

Michigan tightens mask rules for state workers

N95 mask
Don MacKinnon
Getty Images
Starting Monday, about 47 thousand state workers will have to mask up in the office.

State officials are also urging school districts and local health departments to adopt mask requirements, but neither Governor Gretchen Whitmer or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have issued any mandate to do so.

State employees are being told they once again have to mask up at the office as a COVID-19 health precaution.

The policy applies to 47,000 state employees who work in an office or other indoor setting.

“Beginning today, on Monday, all state employees are going to need to wear a mask regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not,” said Kurt Weiss of the State Budget Office. “Obviously, over the last few weeks, some of the trends that we’ve seen with the variants and so forth are concerning, and so the decision was made to require the masks for everyone just because the state does have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for everybody.”

The majority of counties in Michigan now have what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention high or substantial transmission of the virus. That’s because of the number of new cases and because the rate of positive tests is back above eight percent.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.