US States Say Farewell to COVID Rules
States and cities across the country are waving goodbye to coronavirus mandates.
By: Kirsten Brooker | February 26, 2022 | 553 Words
States across the U.S. are beginning to loosen the reins when it comes to coronavirus rules. The Omicron variant has reached its peak, and numbers of those suffering from the virus are starting to drop. With fewer patients going to hospital and less people needing intensive care to treat the symptoms, states are beginning to adjust the dial closer to the normal setting.
Some states are keeping their restrictions for fear that the numbers will creep right back up if they don’t. However, officials in other states think the nation needs to learn how to live with the illness, as there is no guarantee it will ever go away.
States Say Mandates Be Gone!
The decline in COVID cases has allowed state governors to take another look at the mandates put in place. Many states had already removed COVID restrictions, but some have remained steadfast until now. Recently, Governors in New Jersey, Oregon, California, Connecticut, and Delaware have announced plans to get rid of mask mandates within the next couple of months.
“We can responsibly take this step given the continuing drop in new cases and hospitalizations from omicron,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
Cities like New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Chicago have decided to remove the requirement that restaurant patrons and those who attend other indoor services show proof of vaccination. Though each business can make its own rules, there will no longer be orders from the local governments.
Around two-thirds of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. While public health officials say they would like to see more people get the jab, it seems that many state leaders will allow individuals to decide what is best for themselves, their families, and their businesses.
Masks On or Off in Schools?
Nearly as contagious as Omicron itself, the sudden need to abolish coronavirus rules is spreading just as quickly as the virus. But are the changes applying to kids and schools as well?
Eight states, including Florida and Arizona, have banned mask mandates in schools. They say that wearing a mask is a choice that can – and should – be made within families and the local school districts rather than forced on them by state authorities.
Only four states (Washington, Illinois, New Mexico, and Oregon) are now enforcing masks to be worn indoors – and many of them announcing that will end no later than March 31. It seems schools are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Some parents are delighted to hear the mask mandates are ending. Francis Amegah, a guardian of two Newark children, feels the end of the rule is well overdue. He said, “They shouldn’t be wearing masks. If something happens, we’ll be able to handle that. The parents should be able to take care of that.”
Undoing many of the COVID restrictions is giving American families a sense that life is getting back to normal. After two long years, is the pandemic finally reaching its end, or are authorities acting too soon? Are COVID rules ending in your area?