Coronavirus-Due to the increase in influenza and COVID-19 cases, MDHHS will issue mask recommendations during the holidays

2021-11-26 09:04:21 By : Ms. Linda Liu

Contact: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112

Lansing, Michigan-As COVID-19 and flu cases continue to increase, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will issue mask recommendations and provide guidance to ensure the safety of loved ones and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases during the holidays.

MDHHS will issue public health recommendations, recommending that everyone over 2 years old should wear a mask when gathering indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. In addition, companies should implement a policy to ensure that all people who enter or seek services, including employees, wear masks. This mask recommendation will remain effective until further notice.  

"The increase in the number of cases, the positive rate and the hospitalization rate is very worrying for us," said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. "We are issuing mask recommendations and hope that Michigan people will do our part to help protect their friends, family and communities by wearing masks indoors and getting COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as possible, if they have not yet done so. Do."

In addition to MDHHS recommendations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued recommendations for safe gatherings, including vaccinations, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and washing hands. Wearing a mask is considered an effective mitigation strategy, and it is recommended that everyone in the public indoor environment of high transmission areas and people who have not been vaccinated use it indoors. Keep social distancing as much as possible, especially in places where the vaccination status of people around you is unknown.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian said: “As we enter the holiday season, with more and more cases of COVID-19, we must take all measures to ensure the safety of our families and loved ones — first and foremost. Get vaccinated." "Children 5 years and older can use a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, and eligible Michigan residents can use boosters. Holidays may be a time to spread joy. We recommend measures, including wearing a mask indoors. So as not to spread COVID-19 to loved ones."

It is also encouraged to get a flu vaccine that can be given at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. If you or your family are unwell, please stay at home and get tested. If you test positive for COVID-19, please inform close contacts as soon as possible. If you are infected with COVID-19, seek monoclonal antibody treatment.

It is worth noting that vaccination supports all efforts to reduce the burden on Michigan hospitals, where the challenges brought about by the ongoing pandemic response, high acuity, the increase in non-COVID patients, overcrowding and understaffing are already in the state. Some areas have reached a tipping point. The hospital strives to ensure the effective use of available materials and personnel. If the facility requires access to crisis care standards, it may modify conventional practices, cancel procedures, save resources, and redistribute items that are in short supply. The goal of all hospitals is to avoid reaching the level of crisis care standards. 

"What we are seeing is truly unprecedented," said Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, president of Spectrum Health, West Michigan, who shared that Spectrum Health currently has 370 hospitalized COVID-19 patients-86% of whom are not vaccinated. "Our team is tired, but is still trying to take care of their community. We are counting on people to help us by vaccinating or getting boosters if eligible, wearing masks and being smart at holiday parties."

If you are considering traveling, it is recommended that you get fully vaccinated or postpone your trip until you are fully vaccinated. A person is considered to have been fully vaccinated two weeks after the completion of their initial vaccination series: two weeks after the second dose of the two-dose mRNA vaccine series or two weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In addition to vaccinations, you should also be tested for COVID-19 before and after travel. If your family cannot be vaccinated, CDC will provide safer travel tips, including wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and washing hands frequently.

MDHHS follows CDC guidelines and provides the following special precautions for holiday gatherings:

In order to maximize the protection of school-age children and adults from COVID-19, please get vaccinated as soon as possible. To find a vaccine near you, visit