World America’s Mask Dilemma
House Republicans introduce bill to ban 'tyrannical' federal mask mandates
EXCLUSIVE: A group of House Republicans introduced legislation Friday to ban federal coronavirus mask mandates on public transportation, arguing it's time to return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Rep. Andy Biggs, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, shared his legislation first with Fox News that serves as the House companion bill to Sen. Rand Paul's mask mandate legislation in the Senate. "There is no scientific evidence for the continuation of mask mandates on public transportation," Biggs, R-Ariz., told Fox News in a statement.
We are a nation of under-doers and over-doers. Every time the government has issued COVID-19 guidance throughout the pandemic, one slice of America has ignored it, while another slice has followed it to the letter, and then some. The government says stay six feet apart? Some Americans scoffed, while others didn’t set foot inside a restaurant for a year. The CDC’svaccinated people go unmasked is shaping up to be another such cleavage. Some freshly vaccinated fastidious types might be thinking, Wait, should I be wearing a mask indoors anyway?
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 Countyan 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.
As clock strikes midnight, Los Angeles reinstates masks - sort of
In a West Hollywood nightclub, people flirted, danced, and got close -- all mostly unmasked -- despite the fact that on Sunday at midnight, Los Angeles became the first US city to order a return to masks indoors. - 'Not my problem' - For Los Angeles authorities, who announced the return to mandatory mask wearing in the middle of the week, there's a delicate balance to strike -- the city has only really reopened in the last few weeks, and no-one wants to spoil the party. But thanks to the Delta variant, Covid-19 cases are the highest they've been since March, and the United States has not yet introduced any form of vaccine passport.
This is disappointing, because vaccines were supposed to free us from masks. VaccinationCOVID-19 extremely well, and asymptomatic vaccinated people are the coronavirus to others. Almost everyone over the age of 12 who wants a vaccine could have received one by now for free, so vaccinated people might have little desire to protect their anti-vaccine neighbors. Yet about of Americans, , refuse to get vaccinated, which is causing COVID-19 cases to surge and spoiling hot vax summer.
So if you don’t live in L.A., should you keep donning a mask in Trader Joe’s? Or taking sips of a cocktail between mask-yanks at a house party? I asked four experts, and received … four different answers that depend on your personal risk tolerance, living situation, and geographic location. If you’re vaccinated, you’re justified in either masking or not masking indoors. Here’s how to decide.
The specter of renewed masking rises over Capitol Hill
Mask-donning diminished markedly around the Capitol from about mid-May. And then people got spooked over the past few days as the Delta variant took hold. House and Senate Democrats paraded Democratic Texas state legislators around Capitol Hill - AWOL from Austin to block a Republican voting bill - as celebrities. Then at least six of the Texas Democrats contracted coronavirus. The breakthrough infection rate for those who are vaccinated is one case for nearly every 10,000 vaccinations. For the Texas Democrats, their infection rate spiked to more than ten percent.
The case for wearing a mask indoors
Remember the multi-huedthat we thought we could leave behind in 2020? It might be time to revisit those. If you live in an area with a lot of cases, some experts say, it might be worth wearing a mask indoors, even if you’re vaccinated. This is especially true in situations where you don’t know the vaccination status of everyone around you, such as at church or a concert. “For example, I am wearing a mask at the grocery store again, but I am not wearing one at work, where I know almost everyone is vaccinated,” says Linsey Marr, an aerosols expert at Virginia Tech. Marr says she mostly does this to minimize the risk to herself and her family, because although it’s rare for the coronavirus to “break through” and , it can happen, and it’s more likely to happen during a large COVID-19 outbreak. (Still, of people who are hospitalized for COVID-19—and almost all who die of it—are unvaccinated.)
Masks for vaccinated gaining momentum as more cities, states require or recommend face coverings
More and more jurisdictions around the United States are requiring or recommending masks indoors for vaccinated people in reaction to the fast-spreading COVID-19 delta variant. With many areas struggling to reach significant levels of vaccination, case numbers in the U.S. have increased by a factor of five in the past month. And high-profile infections among vaccinated individuals are showing that although the coronavirus vaccines prevent nearly all hospitalization and death among those who take them, vaccinated people can still catch the virus and test positive. WHERE TO FIND COVID VACCINES Though the number of U.S.
Determining what constitutes an area with “a lot” of cases remains. Caitlin Rivers, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, puts the number at 10 cases per 100,000 people. Right now, many are over that threshold, and so are parts of Florida, Texas, California, and other states.
Video: ‘We need to continue mask wearing even with vaccination’: Doctor (Yahoo! Finance)
According to Rivers, the vaccinated should keep masking indoors in these places until children under the age of 12 can get vaccinated. “I don’t think we should give up on mitigation until we can offer kids the same protection afforded to everyone else,” she says.
Though children are atof getting seriously sick with COVID-19, they could still pass the coronavirus on to unvaccinated people because they themselves aren’t vaccinated. Though your heart might not break for your local anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists, to of American adults are immunocompromised, which means the COVID-19 vaccines as well for them. By masking, you are protecting yourself from breakthrough infections, but also protecting kids and the immunocompromised.
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 case against wearing a mask indoors
Those arguing for a return to indoor masking typically say something like “What’s the big deal? It’s just a mask!” But masks have downsides. They’re hot, they fog up your glasses, and they muffle speech to the point that I have to scream “O!-L!-G!-A!” at every barista. Once everyone started masking, I stopped seeing friends in person, because driving an hour just to stare at someone’s eyeballs is not my idea of fun. Like many Americans, I was happy to wear a mask until the vaccines arrived, and I was happy to be rid of it once I got jabbed. Few people would likely prefer to wear a mask every day if they didn’t have to.
And if you’re vaccinated, you technically don’t have to. “I agree with: If you’re vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask,” says Joseph Allen, an environmental epidemiologist at Harvard. Indoor masking may be reasonable in areas with large outbreaks, but a top-down mask mandate for all of America no longer makes sense, he says.
Allen worries that encouraging vaccinated people to keep masking undermines confidence in the vaccines. You can’t claim you “believe in science” unless you also believe in the science of vaccine efficacy. Mask-free living can also be a carrot: Look, if you get vaccinated, you can lose these things once and for all!
Masks will remain mandatory in Queensland for another week. Here's the state's full list of COVID-19 restrictions
Queensland's Chief Health Officer says masks may have helped prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the community. She has extended the mask mandate for another week. Here's what you need to know.Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said masks may have helped prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the community and has extended the mask mandate for another week.
While there is technically a chance that a vaccinated person might transmit the virus to someone who transmits the virus to someone who just had a bone-marrow transplant, that risk is small. Especially if you’re in a place like a grocery store. “Grocery stores, we don’t think, are super-high-risk places,” says Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. If an immunocompromised person pops into Walmart at the same time as you, a vaccinated person, “the amount of exposure you are going to create for that person is really low if you’re asymptomatic.” Someone who’s vaccinated and doesn’t have symptoms is likely not shedding enough virus to infect an immunocompromised person as they silently cross paths in the cereal aisle. And the immunocompromised could wear a high-quality mask to protect themselves, just in case.
Jha says he’s not worried about picking up the virus and spreading it to his 9-year-old, who can’t get vaccinated yet. Sometimes when he goes to the grocery store in his highly vaccinated town, he doesn’t wear a mask, even though people look at him funny because, well, he’s Ashish Jha.
What’s more, the masking endgame seems unclear. Vaccinationto a crawl, so when do we stop masking? If mask mandates return, Jha says, cases will go back up again when they end. “This is not a long-term solution,” he says. “The long-term solution is to get more people vaccinated.”
It’s the unvaccinated who are putting everyone at risk. They can get sick, they can easily transmit the virus, and they are keeping the pandemic raging. Face masksof catching the virus by 65 percent; vaccines reduce it by . A national mask mandate, at this point, would be highly . Vaccine mandates for all indoor communal settings would probably be unpopular too. But they might do more to end the pandemic.
Liberals from White House to Hawaii push for mask mandates but data is underwhelming .
Democratic leaders from the White House down are mulling or enacting new coronavirus mask mandates following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – even as new infections vary widely in different areas. The new guidance recommends masks indoors in communities reporting at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day span. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows there are such hot spots across the U.S., but especially in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. But it was Hawaii, Nevada and Washington, D.C., that had indoor mask mandates in place for fully vaccinated individuals as of Friday.