Berrien County school districts begin lifting mask mandates

NOW: Berrien County school districts begin lifting mask mandates

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STEVENSVILLE, Mich. — Mask requirements have come to an end in some Berrien County schools. 

At Lakeshore, their district had already planned to end the mandate on February 27but at Monday night’s board meeting the majority voted to rescind the order immediately. 

Lakeshore has had a mandate since October, but emphasized then the intent to lift it as soon as possible.

Cases have dramatically dropped; their most recent data from a two-week period showed cases went from 129 to 17. 

Watervliet also ended mask requirements Tuesday.

They were one of the districts that started the school year without a student mandate. 

Watervliet has seen a drop in numbers, too - between January 19th and 21st alone, they had 34 cases. 

Monday’s report showed just two.

The Berrien County Health Department said they support individuals making the best decision for themselves when it comes to masking.

Their recommendations have not changed yet, and schools are still adopting their quarantine guidance when unmasked. 

“There are four options,” said Interim Health Officer Guy Miller. “Quarantine days 1-5 then test, continue wearing a mask days 6-10; a student could test every other day for six days and wear a mask; mask-to-stay for 10 days; or quarantine the full 10 days.” 

One thing that will be different for all Berrien County students is who they get quarantine letters from now. 

The health department has transferred that responsibility onto schools to inform their students when exposed and lay out their options.

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