A man adjusts his American flag face mask on July 19, 2021 on a street in Hollywood, California, on the second day of the return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases. - The US surgeon general on July 18 defended a renewed mask mandate in Los Angeles, saying other areas may have to follow and adding that he is "deeply concerned" about the Covid-19 outlook in the fall. LA County reported another 1,233 Covid-19 cases, the 11th consecutive day the number has topped 1,000. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images


It’s 2023, But COVID Restrictions Are Not A Thing Of The Past

The rules are ramping up as fall approaches.


It may be 2023, more than three years after the pandemic began, but COVID restrictions remain a mandatory part of life for many.

Some schools, employers, and government entities are forcing students, workers, and the public to comply with COVID measures in a familiar echo of last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.

The city of San Francisco is still requiring people who work in health care or at jails to wear a face mask.

Even in deep-red Alabama, three court buildings in Dallas County have resurrected their mask mandate for the public after several cases of the virus cropped up in the buildings.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) criticized the idea of going back to COVID restrictions and promised Florida will not do so.

Vermont is pushing back as well. The state will no longer allow school nurses to test students for COVID, according to the Vermont Department of Health, signaling that they are viewing the virus as more like a seasonal flu.

The return of COVID restrictions comes amid an uptick of virus cases and hospitalizations as we head into the colder months, but the outbreaks appear to be concentrated in hotspots and are well below the peaks we saw at the height of the pandemic.

With the school year kicking off and students returning to classrooms and campuses, several schools are giving students deja vu with their own mandatory — and strict — pandemic rules.

This week, a Maryland elementary school reinstated its face mask mandate after several students tested positive for COVID.

Rosemary Hills Elementary School just north of Washington, D.C., is requiring the third-grade class and school staff to wear masks for 10 days after “three or more” third graders tested positive for the virus.

The young students must wear masks “except when eating or drinking,” and the school is providing KN95 masks to students and staff in the “identified classes or activities.” Parents will also be sent at-home rapid COVID tests, and Rosemary Hills is asking them to report any positive test results to the school attendance office.

In Alabama, Kinterbish Junior High announced an indefinite mask mandate last month, and students appeared to still be wearing masks last week based on Facebook photos.

In Georgia, Morris Brown College, a private, historically black liberal arts school in Atlanta announced a two-week mask mandate last month.

There were no active COVID cases on campus, but several students at the other three colleges in the Atlanta University Center system had tested positive after students returned to campus.

Morris Brown students were required to practice social distancing and were prohibited from having parties or large gatherings. They were also required to get their temperature checked when they arrived on campus, comply with contact tracing efforts, and isolate for at least five days if they tested positive.

Dillard University, another private, historically black university in New Orleans announced a two-week mask mandate last month, citing a jump in virus cases.

Meanwhile, two California high schools canceled their upcoming football games over COVID cases among students.

Esparto High School west of Sacramento canceled its game after six players contracted the virus and seven more players were out due to injuries. Likewise, Santa Paula High School north of Los Angeles canceled its football game due to 20 positive COVID cases within the football and cheerleading teams.

Some parents were frustrated that their kids will miss out after months of lockdowns.

“She couldn’t go to the movies. Couldn’t do nothing; locked down with a Chromebook,” a Santa Paula parent told a local outlet. “It was horrible. Totally affected her life.”

A major Hollywood movie studio brought back its mask mandate last month as well. Lionsgate, reinstated its mask mandate for most of its Santa Monica office employees after several employees tested positive for COVID. Lionsgate said it would also do contact tracing and give out free COVID test kits, and the studio also asked employees to self-screen for COVID before coming to work.

Late last month, though, Lionsgate said it would lift its mask mandate again.

Hospitals are bringing back their mask mandates as well. In California, Kaiser Permanente imposed a mask mandate at its hospitals and medical offices in Santa Rosa for not only doctors and patients but also visitors.

In New York, a group of hospitals have brought back mask mandates as well, including United Health Services, Auburn Community Hospital, and University Hospital in Syracuse.

Most of the new mask mandates do not specify whether certain kinds of face masks are unacceptable. As long ago as 2021, CNN’s medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said cloth face masks were “little more than facial decorations,” and urged people to wear “at least a three-ply surgical mask.”

The current COVID variant, which is descended from Omicron, has been spreading for months, and experts have said it is not any more dangerous than previous variants.

Even so, the White House is putting out warnings about COVID as fall approaches.

Biden has not tried to get Americans to return to face mask mandates broadly, but his administration is still strongly pushing the COVID vaccine.

The Biden administration recently recommended that many people get not only a COVID booster shot, but also a flu shot and a shot for RSV, a respiratory virus that can be dangerous for infants and elderly adults.

One doctor who is an advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compared an annual COVID booster to “a seatbelt in a car,” saying it is good to keep using it.

Former president Donald Trump slammed the return of COVID restrictions late last month.

The 2024 Republican frontrunner promised that if re-elected, he would “use every available authority to cut federal funding to any school, college, airline or public transportation system that imposes a mask mandate or a vaccine mandate.”

Even during the height of the pandemic, policies like mask mandates, lockdowns, and vaccine mandates faced spirited opposition.

Now that the pandemic is three years old, it’s doubtful Americans have any appetite left for more restrictions.


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  It’s 2023, But COVID Restrictions Are Not A Thing Of The Past