September 30, 2021
Dear Plainwell Families,
Yesterday, the Governor signed the State Budget Bill. This bill contained a section (250) that prohibits a local health officer from issuing a mask mandate for children under 18 years old. Although the Governor has stated that this section of the bill is unenforceable, the Allegan County Health Department indicated that it will consider it the law until a judge officially rules it unconstitutional. Because this section was also tied to health department funding (Section 1222(4)), the Allegan County Health Department has therefore rescinded the masking order. This will not change unless the County Board of Commissioners approve a nonbinding resolution supporting the order. This has not happened.
Therefore as of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, the K-6 masking order will no longer be in effect. This could change if a judge declares that section of the Budget Bill unconstitutional.
Therefore, as stated in previous communications sent to all families on this issue, PCS will be reverting to K-12 masking as optional, though still highly recommended, beginning tomorrow October 1st. However, if the health department reinstates the order, the district will comply with said order. Reminder - Students who wear masks are less likely to have to quarantine if exposed.
The CDC order requiring masks on buses is still in effect as it is a federal mandate. The State Budget Bill only impacts the local health department mask order and not other COVID-19 related school matters such as quarantining and testing.
Attached to this communication is the updated press release from ACHD for your review.
This is another reminder of how this pandemic has caused us to frequently make adjustments to our policies regarding COVID mitigation strategies. We thank you for your understanding and support as we move forward.