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More protests follow mask orders in Oakland, Ottawa counties

August 25, 2021 GMT

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Protesters turned out Wednesday in a large suburban Detroit county, a day after officials said masks would be required in schools, the latest local mandate linked to rising COVID-19 cases.

On the other side of Michigan, more than 100 parents and kids showed up Tuesday night in Ottawa County, equally upset with a recent mask order for students through 6th grade. They held signs that said, “Our Kids Our Choice” and “Parents Know Best!”

Roger Bergman, chairman of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, said he was impressed by the turnout but disappointed by the effort to “bully and intimidate” people who favor a mask order, which was announced last week by the health department.

“There is no question that the Board of Commissioners cannot make this decision and cannot reverse this decision,” Bergman said Wednesday.

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In Oakland County, masks will be required in all schools, regardless of vaccination status, until cases slow down.

“Masking is one of the best defenses against increased transmission of COVID and higher hospitalization rates among kids,” county Executive David Coulter said.

Aimee Gurski said her two kids in Walled Lake schools must wear masks despite being vaccinated.

“It’s not fair to make our kids go through this again,” she said outside the health department. “Our kids suffer emotionally, mentally and they need to be able to connect.”