Michigan extended its mask mandate to include toddlers, with the changes officially going into effect Monday.
Last week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced it would expand its current mask mandate to include children ages 2-4 amid surging cases in the blue state. Children under the age of five were previously exempt.
Per the current order, a face mask is required for everyone two years and older, and even those who are exempt — whether for medical reasons or age — are “strongly encouraged” to wear a face covering.
“The change means that kids from 2-4 are now subject to the masking requirement just like everyone else,” MDHHS Public Information Officer Bob Wheaton wrote in a statement.
“So if an 18 year old would be required to mask because they were in a gathering at a park, so would a 2-4 year old,” he explained.
As Breitbart News reported, the order came from MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel, who recently returned from an Alabama beach vacation:
The order came days after Hertel arrived back from a spring break vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama and another top Whitmer aide, Tricia Foster, was found to have vacationed in Siesta Key, Florida.
Critics questioned whether there were different rules for top officials. Whitmer responded, “What directors do on their personal time is their business, so long as they are safe.”
Notably, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) traveled to Florida a month ago for personal reasons despite urging Michiganders to forgo traveling to Florida over concerns of coronavirus variants.
Michigan has reported far more new cases of the virus per capita than states such as Florida and Texas, both of which remain open and do not have mask mandates in place, as Breitbart News detailed. The state reported 381.5 new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, compared to Florida which has reported 191.9 cases per 100,000, and Texas which has reported 69.9 cases per 100,000 in the same time frame, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) April 25 data.