KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — While mask requirements in Michigan have become slightly confusing after Friday's Supreme Court ruling, Kalamazoo County Health Officer Jim Rutherford said "all COVID-19 executive orders are to remain in effect".
Some local businesses have the same mentality.
Many businesses, bars and restaurants in Kalamazoo County have finally reopened their doors after being closed for some time during the pandemic, and they said they're keeping the mask mandate to keep their employees and patrons safe.
"In our mind it’s just better to be safe and follow proper protocol than risk other people’s health," said the Creative Content Marketing Director for Saugatuck Brewing Company Robert Antor.
After Friday's Supreme Court ruling, mask requirements went into question. After that, many businesses in Kalamazoo County took to Facebook to voice their own requirements, including Saugatuck Brewing Company.
"You have some people saying one thing, some people saying the other thing, but obviously our number one goal and what we want to do is follow the best science, and the best advice from the different kinds of health organizations. It just seemed like at this time, obviously we already have everything in place," said Antor.
For another business, The Little Gym of Kalamazoo, they said it's important to keep consistency for the kids who have learned to accept this new normal.
"We started getting a ton of phone calls from parents and felt like we really needed to address it. We are 100% on board with adults still wearing masks and are encouraging the kids to do so," said The Little Gym of Kalamazoo's Owner Melissa Housner.
Kalamazoo County Health Officer Jim Rutherford also released a statement in an attempt to remove some of the confusion.
"All current COVID-19 executive orders remain in effect. Protecting public health is our top priority. Our best defense against further spread of COVID-19 in our community is the strict adherence to public health guidance."
"We just think it’s best. We want to make sure our employees are safe, their families are safe and the people who come in. Without those people we don’t have a business," said Antor.
The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department said they'll continue to provide updated information as it becomes available including any changes going forward to mandates.