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With masks optional, health department says other guidance can minimize COVID disruption in classrooms

Wikipedia Media Commons

Masks are optional for nearly all area K-12 schools, colleges, and universities this fall. With classes getting underway this week, preventing the spread of COVID-19 remains a top priority.

Officials with the Washtenaw County Health Department acknowledge that there will still be COVID exposures in schools. However, following the guidelines could limit disruption in classrooms.

Susan Ringler-Cerniglia is the Public Information Officer with the Health Department. She says while masks and vaccinations are extremely effective in preventing the spread of COVID, the common sense guidelines could have a big impact, too.

“If you’re ill, then absolutely stay away from others, and that’s where we’re going to get the most effectiveness in terms of trying to prevent that additional spread.”

Health department guidance also calls for increasing ventilation in buildings and classrooms and making rapid COVID tests available.

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Josh Hakala, a lifelong Michigander (East Lansing & Edwardsburg), comes to WEMU after more than two decades of working in a variety of fields within broadcasting and digital media. Most recently, he worked at Michigan Radio as a producer and a fill-in host. Prior to that, he worked for Advance Digital where he managed newspaper websites from across the country, including While his resume is filled with sports broadcasting experience (Big Ten Network, 97.1FM The Ticket, 610AM WIP etc.), radio reporting (90.1FM WRTI) and odd jobs (an editor for the FIFA video game series for EA Sports), he brings a passion for news and storytelling to WEMU.
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