US Alabama to Lift Mask Mandate in April Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Mississippi Mayor Calls Out Governor for Putting Lives 'in Jeopardy' by Lifting Mask Mandate
"It is against the advice of our health experts, and it is premature," Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.Reeves, a Republican, made the announcement with the signing of an executive order on Tuesday. The mandate will be lifted as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but the governor said Mississippi residents were still encouraged to wear the face coverings. Indoor businesses will still be restricted to operating at 50 percent capacity, masks will remain required in K-12 schools and municipalities are free to maintain their own local mask mandates.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday extended the state's mask mandate for a month but said that she would not keep it in place beyond April 9.
The move comes after decisions fromand Mississippi to lift mask mandates and fully open businesses drew pushback from public health experts and President Joe Biden, who the moves as "a big mistake."
CDC director urges people to keep masking and distancing 'regardless of what states decide'
The director of the US Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said she hopes people will decide to individually "do the right thing" about distancing and wearing masks, even in states moving to eliminate restrictions against the CDC's recommendations."I think we at the CDC have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions," Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing.
Ivey said that while coronavirus infections and hospitalizations in Alabama have declined, it is not yet time to lift the mask requirement.
"While I'm convinced a mask mandate has been the right thing to do, I also respect those who object and believe this was a step too far in government overreach," Ivey said.
Shethat "more Alabamians need to get their 1st shot before we take a step some other states have taken to remove the mask order altogether & lift all restrictions."
More than 9% of the adult population in Alabama has been fully vaccinated, according tofrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Across the country, just over 10% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.
Overnight Health Care: Experts warn US risks delaying 'normal' summer | Alabama GOP governor extends mask mandate | Senate votes to take up relief bill
Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Health Care, where unlike the Senate clerks we will not be reading aloud all 628 pages of the COVID-19 relief bill. Follow us on Twitter at @PeterSullivan4 and @NateWeixel.The country maybe will be getting back to normal sometime soon, GOP governors are split over lifting coronavirus restrictions, and the Senate voted to take up the $1.9 trillion relief bill. Let's start with where we are on the state of the pandemic: Experts warn US risks delaying 'normal' summerPresident Biden's announcement that there will be enough vaccines for all adults by May is raising hopes the U.S. could soon return to a semblance of normalcy.
Health experts have warned that while infections, deaths and hospitalizations are down from where they were after the holiday peak, highly contagiousthreaten to undo progress.
"The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it," Biden said on Wednesday. "It still matters."
The governors from Mississippi and Texas have defended their decisions and criticized Biden's "Neanderthal" comment.
"Mississippians don't need handlers," Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves. "As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that Biden's comment was "not the type of word that a president should be using" andan accusation that the administration is "recklessly releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants who have COVID into Texas communities."
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Fauci: US shouldn't relax Covid-19 restrictions until new daily cases are below 10,000 .
The US shouldn't ease restrictions in place to prevent Covid-19 before the number of new coronavirus cases falls below 10,000 daily, "and maybe even considerably less than that," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday. © Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.