Amid a resurgence in COVID hospitalizations throughout the United States, numerous regions are now advocating for or even mandating the reintroduction of mask-wearing measures.
“Four years in, we don’t need to mandate. We need to actually empower people with the information that they need for themselves and their families because every family is different. And by the way, outside is safe, and playgrounds are safe.”
For instance, Morris Brown College in Atlanta imposed a two-week restriction on gatherings and mandated mask-wearing among students due to reported positive cases. Hollywood studio Lionsgate briefly enforced mask requirements on two of its five office floors.
Similarly, healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente reinstated mask mandates at its Santa Rosa, Calif., facilities following an increase in positive patient cases. New York state witnessed multiple hospital systems reintroducing mask mandates, including United Health Services, Auburn Community Hospital, and Upstate Medical (both university and community hospitals).
Meanwhile, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, the largest employer in central New York, announced in mid-August a mandatory mask policy for all staff, visitors, and patients in clinical areas, effective for at least three weeks, according to NPR.
According to the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month, COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide witnessed a staggering surge, soaring by almost 19% within a week. Equally concerning, the same data revealed a grim reality as COVID-related deaths escalated by over 21% during the same period.
Dr. Birx has also expressed apprehension regarding the continued utilization of COVID-19 vaccines primarily developed based on earlier virus variants. She emphasized that our current knowledge allows us to identify the specific demographics requiring immunization.
“You know what is amazing to me is we work so hard to bring innovation. The American spirit of innovation and science and data and creating these great new vaccines which were made on an mRNA platform.”
“So, you could switch them out and make them quickly, and instead of doing that, we’re basing vaccines on old variants rather than the new variants, and we know today exactly who needs to be immunized, she concluded.
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Jim Thomas ✉
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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