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Vail: No Response From State Senate Leaders About COVID Rules Compliance

Linda Vail photo
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, speaking with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday

Leaders of the Michigan Senate have not responded to a letter about COVID-19 health rules enforcement from Ingham County’s top health official.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Health Officer Linda Vail wrote to state senate leadership about concerns regarding non-compliance with mask-wearing rules at the capitol.

As health officer, Vail has enforcement powers in Ingham County, but she says she believes the state capitol building is beyond her reach "just like the city of Lansing police don’t have the ability to police the capitol grounds. The capitol is under the state’s jurisdiction.”

Vail further explained that “when you get enough phone calls from enough staffers, and again some members who are expressing deep concerns about their safety and health and the ability for the legislature to implement at least some of the basic MIOSHA rules related to employee protections in the workplace, it seemed an appropriate thing to do.”

Mask-wearing was said to be mixed at a lengthy senate oversight committee hearing Tuesday on alleged election irregularities. Some went unmasked while speaking, and masks didn’t cover the noses of others. Committee chairman Sen. Ed McBroom was mostly maskless.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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