US California Advises Double Masking as Texas, Mississippi Ditch Mandates
West Virginia's Jim Justice Rebukes Other Governors Lifting Mask Mandates: 'For Crying Out Loud'
"Nobody likes a mask," the GOP West Virginia governor said. "But, for crying out loud, we could be a little more prudent for 30 more days or 45 more days or whatever it took for us to get on rock-solid ground."When asked by host Margaret Brennan about his opinion on other Republican governors deciding to lift statewide face mask mandates, Justice said: "I think that's ridiculous.
As a handful of U.S. states ditch mask mandates amid the ongoing COVID pandemic, health officials in California have doubled down.
California's health department updated its advice about the most effective use of masks and when to consider "double masking" on Thursday, after Gov.said the decision to stop enforcing face covering use in Texas was "absolutely reckless."
The California public health agency said masks remain "essential" as they limit spread of the disease, which is critical as new COVID variants emerge.
Study shows link between mask mandates, reduced COVID-19 spread
A CDC study found that mask mandates were linked to a decrease in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and allowing dining at restaurants was linked to an increase in both. Your browser does not support this video The findings come as some states, including Texas and Mississippi, have recently made moves to lift their mask mandates and other restrictions, like dining capacity. The CDC report, published Friday, examined the association of state mask mandates and orders allowing restaurants to reopen with COVID-19 cases and deaths. Researchers found that, from March 1 to Dec. 31, mask mandates were associated with a 0.
"Good fit and filtration improve protection for others if you are infected and protection for you if you are exposed to an infected person," it explained in a release on Thursday, as the state logged 3,504 new cases of the disease over the past 24 hours.
It added: "Double masking is an effective way to improve fit and filtration. A close-fitting cloth mask can be worn on top of a surgical/disposable mask to improve the seal."
Officials noted that layering more than two masks is not recommended as it could make it difficult for the wearer to breathe comfortably, and also advised against layering two medical-strength masks as that can interfere with how they seal to the face.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a media briefing on Thursday his state will "double down on mask wearing," referring to those who have abandoned the practice despite it still being the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ().
Biden's 'Neanderthal Thinking' Remark Prompts Furor in Mississippi, Texas
"When President Biden said that we were all Neanderthals, it struck me as someone who needs to get outside of Washington, D.C., and actually travel to Middle America," Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, who recently lifted the statewide mask mandate, said in response to the president's remarks.Biden told reporters it "a big mistake" that some governors are loosening COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, adding, "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking.
"We will not be walking down their path. We're mindful of your health and our future," he said while rejecting the other state decisions,Los Angeles reported.
"I'll just note... that positivity rates in those states [are] substantially higher than even here in the state of California, and yet we still feel very, very strongly as we begin to loosen things up and reopen our economy that mask-wearing [becomes] now more essential as we transition to herd immunity and broad access to vaccines."
At least five U.S. states have dropped—or have announced plans to drop—state mask mandates: Texas, Mississippi, Iowa, Montana and North Dakota.
As reported byNews, those states will now align with 11 additional states—Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee—that have never enforced residents to mask up.
Texas Governorand letting all businesses open at 100 percent capacity from March 10. Mississippi's Gov. Tate Reeves .
California's Largest Teachers Union Says Newsom Again 'Moved Goalpost' for Reopening Schools
The school reopening deal received bipartisan support in the state legislature earlier this week.The $6.6 billion deal Newsom signed on Friday includes nearly $4.6 billion to assist with supplemental instruction for schools throughout California and $2 billion to be distributed to schools that reopen for in-person instruction.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted the state mask mandate in early February. North Dakota state-level mask rules expired in January, while Montana's also expired February.
Presidenton Wednesday described the most recent decisions to end mask mandates in ."
He said from the White House: "I think it's a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody has realized by now: These masks make a difference.
"We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we're able to get vaccines in people's arms.
"We've been able to move that [timescale] all the way up to the end of May to have enough [doses] for every adult American to get a shot. And the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your mask."
How coronavirus stimulus funds helped one state create a 'broadband miracle' .
Mississippi could become a broadband giant.They went to rural electric co-ops -- private, independent electric utilities owned by the members they serve -- many of which were left gobsmacked by the offer, according to David O'Bryan, general manager of Delta Electric Power Association, which now serves Carroll and Grenada counties with broadband. Many of these co-ops had been preparing to deploy networks but lacked the cash to begin a major project, especially in the most remote and sparsely populated parts of their territories.