The resolution immediately went into effect since it was approved by the Senate during the first day of the session and did not require Republican Governor Spencer Cox's veto or signature.
Youngkin signs executive orders banning critical race theory, lifting mask mandate in Virginia public schools
Virginia's Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed 11 executive orders on his first day in office, including one lifting a mask mandate in public schools and another banning the teaching of critical race theory, both issues Youngkin campaigned on."Executive Order Number One delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education," a press"Executive Order Number One delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education," a press release from Youngkin's office read.
Opponents of the mask mandate said it took away people's freedom.
"I understand many people want to bring about an end to this pandemic. We all do. That all said, doing something for the sake of doing something is not a good enough justification for a government mandate," said Republican sponsor Representative Candice Pierucci.
Before being struck down, the Salt Lake County Council upheld the mandate issued by Mayor Jenny Wilson and the health department.
The mask mandate required all residents in Salt Lake County, regardless of vaccination status or past COVID-19 infection, to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and while lining up outside.
Two council Republicans agreed with the mandate from Dr. Angela Dunn, Salt Lake County Health Department executive director, as COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket in the state.
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"It is disappointing that although our county followed the law, the state Legislature chose to intervene and dismiss the decision we made to protect our residents," said Aimee Winder Newton, a Republican Salt Lake County Council member who supported the mandate.
During a previous meeting, Republican Salt Lake County Council members said pandemic-fueled disruptions made the mask-mandate necessary.
Despite the overturn of the mask mandate, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is still asking citizens to wear a mask and is providing free high-quality masks at the public library.
In addition to Salt Lake County, a mask mandate was also reversed in Summit County, following the legislature's challenge to the county's public health state of emergency issued in December.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported Summit County Health Director Dr. Phil Bondurant disagreed with the lawmakers' decision. "I remain firm in my belief that the actions taken by Summit County and the Summit County Health Department over the last two years have saved lives," Bondurant said.
Former Obama official blasts Supreme Court justices for blocking Biden's vaccine mandate: 'They really don't want to stop this pandemic'
David Michaels, the former assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said he believes the GOP-appointed judges "don't care" about the coronavirus crisis. "We're not going to stop this pandemic, and we're not going to get people back to work and the country back to normalcy if we don't have some much better workplace protections," he said. The Supreme Court last week struck down Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies with more than 100 employees, but allowed the mandate to take shape for healthcare workers at federally funded facilities.
According to the Utah Department of Health, the state currently has 825,989 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is the highest the state has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
Utah is also experiencing a testing shortage, and the Tribune previously reported the state only has roughly 44,000 tests available per day.
Speaking to the Tribune, Dunn added that Utah might start to see a plateau effect since its ability to test residents is limited.
In response to the COVID-19 test shortage that the state is experiencing, Tom Hudachko, Utah Department of Health spokesman, said if someone is symptomatic and can't find an available test, they should assume they have COVID and begin the at-home isolation period.
Studies show the Omicron variant has already become the dominant strain in most countries and spreads more easily, infecting people who have either previously had the virus or been vaccinated. However, studies show Omicron is less likely to cause serious illness.
UCLA vs. Utah odds, line: 2022 college basketball picks, Jan. 20 predictions from proven computer model
SportsLine's model just revealed its college basketball picks for Utah vs. UCLAMar 20, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; General overall view of a basketball approaching the rim and net before the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
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German lawmakers to debate possible COVID vaccine mandate .
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's parliament is set to hold its first debate Wednesday on a possible wide-ranging coronavirus vaccine mandate, with three options emerging: obligatory vaccinations for all adults or for everyone above 50, or no mandate at all. German politicians of all stripes long insisted that there would be no vaccine mandate. But the tide turned late last year amid frustration that a large number of holdouts was hampering the fight against COVID-19. Shortly before he became chancellor in December, Olaf Scholz came out in favor of a vaccine mandate, predicting that it would take effect in February or early March.