Soaring COVID-19 cases renew US debate over mask mandates

Soaring COVID-19 cases renew US debate over mask mandates

(AP)- Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows weary of pandemic-related restrictions. Much of the debate centers around the nation’s schools, some of which closed due to infection-related staffing issues. Yet in a variety of places, mask mandates are being lifted or voted down. The changes come as the federal government assesses the supply of medical-grade respirator face coverings, such as N95 or KN95 masks. Jeff Zients is White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. He says the government has a stockpile of more than 750 million N95 masks.

Photo: FILE – Elementary school teacher Carrie Landheer protests for stronger COVID-19 safety protocols outside Oakland Unified School District headquarters on Jan. 7, 2022, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)