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Kent, Ottawa counties to lift mask mandate in schools after winter break

Now that the COVID vaccine is available to students under the age of 12, the public health orders will rescind in 60 days.

The Kent and Ottawa County health departments are announcing plans to drop their masking order in schools at the start of 2022. 

The mask order for students in pre-K to 6th grade went into place on August 20. It was to remain in effect until 60 days after a vaccine became available for those under 12 or when the infection rate drops into the “low range." 

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to millions of elementary school kids, pharmacies and health departments are preparing to give out the shots.

That means the order expires on January 2, 2022, just in time for kids coming back to school after winter break. 

The Ottawa County Health Department is urging parents to get their kids the shot as soon as possible. 

"Because it takes two appointments. You need two doses to be fully vaccinated. And then you need to wait 14 days following the second dose to have your immune system have built up enough to be at that protection," Ottawa County Deputy Health Administrator Marcia Mansaray said. 

 "That's one reason our mask order will be lifting, but it doesn't mean schools need to change their policies. They can maintain their mask policies, they can institute mask policies."

Curious about where to take your child to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here's our list in West Michigan.

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