Depending on where you live and your risk tolerance, vaccinated people are justified in either masking or unmasking indoors.For some Americans, this is no longer a choice. Buffeted by rising COVID-19 case counts resulting from the hyper-transmissible Delta variant, Los Angeles County re-implemented an indoor mask mandate a few days ago. Unlike mask guidelines elsewhere, the new rule applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Other localities might soon follow.
Savannah, Georgia, has reinstated a mandate that people wear masks in public as Chatham County saw a "steep and alarming rise" in COVID-19 infections, the Associated Press reported.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson announced during a news conference Monday that everyone would be required to don a mask when they are inside with people not in their immediate family circle.
Texas Lawmakers Urge Gov. Abbott to Reverse Mask Mandates Ban in Schools, Cite Delta Variant
"The parents and school officials who have contacted us are worried about these children and want to see districts be given the autonomy they need to decide what is best for their students," read the petition.In a petition sent to the governor on Friday, WFAA reported, 31 legislators called on Abbott, a Republican, to reverse a ban on mask mandates in schools and provide virtual learning options for students this fall.
The mandate doesn't apply to schools and colleges, Johnson said. However, he urged the institutions to enact similar measures to curtail county infection rates that nearly tripled in the past two weeks, the Associated Press reported.
Transmission rates in Chatham County are as high as they were in March after the Department of Public Health documented a surge in cases at the end of last week. Additionally, new infections are about nine times higher than they were at the end of June, and cases throughout the entire state are nearly five times higher from the end of last month, per the Associated Press.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Some 60 leading medical and health industry groups are calling for health care employers to require their workers to get COVID-19 vaccines as the more aggressive delta variant spreads across the nation, and some communities report troubling increases in hospitalizations among unvaccinated people.
Mask mandates pour in nationwide after CDC revises guidance for vaccinated people
New mask mandates and rules cascaded Tuesday and Wednesay following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that vaccinated people in high-transmission areas should still wear masks indoors, bringing back pandemic health restrictions for many Americans. "I have stuck with CDC guidance throughout the pandemic and today is no different," Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted Tuesday night. "I will return Kansas City to a mask mandate indoors based upon national and regional health guidance and discussion with other Kansas City leaders.
The groups include the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Nursing, the American Public Health Association and, for the first time, a nursing home industry group. LeadingAge, which represents nonprofit nursing homes and eldercare facilities, had previously advocated educating nursing home employees about the benefits of getting their shots.
"Unfortunately, many health care and long-term care personnel remain unvaccinated," the groups said in a statement. "We stand with the growing number of experts and institutions that support the requirement for universal vaccination of health workers."
In Massachusetts, Provincetown officials approved an indoor mask mandate during an emergency joint meeting on Sunday in an effort to fight an outbreak in the vacation haven at the tip of Cape Cod.
Officials say the new cases stem from a busy Fourth of July weekend. The cluster has grown to more than 550 cases, including some caused by the more infectious delta variant. Of the new cases, about 70 percent were fully vaccinated and most had no or only mild symptoms. Only three have required hospitalization.
Capitol Police: 'There is no reason' mask mandate 'should ever come to' arrest
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) on Friday said "there is no reason" the House of Representatives' new mask mandate for staff and visitors "should ever come to" an arrest.USCP Chief Thomas Manger issued a memo obtained by lawmakers Friday saying police would arrest visitors and staff who refuse to wear a mask on the House side of the Capitol complex.
Outside of the U.S., enforcing France's new virus pass could prove a logistical challenge for restaurants and other venues, but managers and diners hope it helps avoid another dreaded lockdown.
At the helm of La Brigade, a pocket-sized steak house in Paris' hip Oberkampf district, Noémi Arevalo can't imagine having to struggle through another weeks-long closure.
"We prefer having to work with rules and be stricter with our customers than having to close and not being able to work," she told the Associated Press from behind her counter.
France's parliament approved a law early Monday requiring special virus passes for all restaurants and domestic travel, and mandating vaccinations for health workers. To get the pass, people must be fully vaccinated, have a negative virus test or prove they recently recovered from COVID-19.
The government's measures have prompted protests and political tensions. President Emmanuel Macron and his government say they're needed to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals as infections rebound.
Georgia Secretary of State Declares Pandemic 'Gone' and Expanded Voting Access Over
Georgia’s top election official said he believes the COVID-19 pandemic is “gone,” making the efforts enacted last year to expand voting access no longer necessary—and it’s one reason he’s opposing a Justice Department lawsuit against his state’s new voting law. “It was a once-in-a-century event. We are now back to a situation where more Georgians will want to return to vote in person,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told The Daily Beast on Friday. In a document filed in court on Wednesday, Raffensperger and the state officials asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, making the case that the new law is not as draconian as critics make it seem.
COVID Shots Should Be Mandatory for Health Care Workers Say Industry Bodies As Delta Spreads
California Restaurant, Fed Up With Restrictions, Encourages 'Unvaccinated' Customers Only
Alleged Drunk Driver Feared Nurse Would 'Inject Him With COVID-19' Following Crash
New York City Tells Some 340K Employees They Must Get COVID Vaccine or Take Weekly Tests
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Why the CDC changed its mask guidance, according to an epidemiologist .
An expert explains why vaccinated people should wear masks in some indoor settings.But the new CDC guidance issued in late July says that vaccinated people should “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” Even where transmission rates aren’t as high, immunized people with weakened immune systems, and the people they live with, should also consider it.