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Police agencies weigh in on enforcing Michigan mask order

NOW: Police agencies weigh in on enforcing Michigan mask order

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. --- COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country, which is part of the reason why Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer enforced a state-wide order, requiring everyone in the state to mask up or face consequences.

Several police agencies throughout the state have come forward, announcing they will not be enforcing the order and instead asking that people voluntarily take the step.

“We’re not going to take a very aggressive approach to it, but we will if we need to for public safety,” Berrien County Undersheriff, Chuck Heit, said.

There are 10 exemptions that outline who gets a pass on wearing a mask, but as Heit pointed out, some of the requirements for what meets the criteria is unclear, such as the medical exemption.

As it reads, anyone who “cannot medically tolerate a face covering” would be exempt and people are not required to provide documentation to prove it.

This comes after a violent mask dispute, leaving one Michigan man dead following a deadly police shooting that all started with the man refusing to wear a face mask inside a store and stabbing another elderly man.

Heit is hopeful that people will be mindful of one another when it comes to masking up. 

“We’re hoping not to have an incident like that and that people may understand that there’s different use and there’s different reasons why someone may not be wearing a mask that you don’t understand, and may not readily see it but there are exemptions that exist in the executive order,” Heit said.

Heit tells me they will continue to educate the community on the importance of wearing a mask and asks that people comply voluntarily to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

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