Some Colleges Loosen Rules for a Virus That Won’t Go Away

There is talk about moving from ‘containment to management,’ with fewer restrictions as spring semester progresses.

#colleges-and-universities, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #masks, #quarantines, #tests-medical, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization

N95, KN95 or KF94? How to Find the Right Covid Mask

Knowing which mask to pick and making sure it’s not a fake requires the sleuthing skills of a forensic investigator. Our guide can help.

#children-and-childhood, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #counterfeit-merchandise, #masks

Maskless and Inaccurate

The Supreme Court offers a window into partisan Covid fallacies.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #gorsuch-neil-m, #masks, #sotomayor-sonia, #supreme-court-us

To Fight Covid, We Need to Think Less Like Doctors

Leaders are too focused on risks to individuals versus the population as a whole.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #medicine-and-health, #tests-medical

CDC to update advice on best masks—but just wants you to wear one, any of them

A masked woman in a business suit.

Enlarge / Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty | Shawn Thew)

As cases of the ultra-transmissible omicron coronavirus variant continue to increase in the US, many experts have pushed for Americans to upgrade their masks to better protect themselves—i.e., ditch the handmade cloth masks that were fashionable in spring 2020 for options like the high-quality N95s and KN95s that are now more available.

Taking note of the shift, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today that it is working to update the mask guidance on its website, which hasn’t been refreshed since last fall, prior to omicron’s rise. Meanwhile, the White House is actively considering providing high-quality masks to Americans.

In a press briefing Wednesday, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients offered little detail on what a federal mask distribution program might look like or when it could come, noting only, “We’re in the process right now of strongly considering options to make more high-quality masks available to all Americans.”

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#cdc, #covid-19, #infectious-disease, #masks, #public-health, #science, #white-house

U.S. Officials Defend Omicron Response at Senate Hearing

Lawmakers accused top Biden administration health officials of neglecting virus testing and mangling key messaging around the pandemic.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #fauci-anthony-s, #food-and-drug-administration, #masks, #tests-medical, #walensky-rochelle, #woodcock-janet

We Have to Stop Relying on Luck to Weather the Pandemic

The government’s haphazard and disorganized response to Omicron doesn’t bode well.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #disease-rates, #masks, #tests-medical, #walensky-rochelle

A Nation On Hold Wants to Speak With a Manager

In our anger-filled age, when people need to shop or travel or cope with mild disappointment they’re “devolving into children.”

#airlines-and-airplanes, #consumer-behavior, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #masks, #quarantine-life-and-culture

First They Fought About Masks. Then Over the Soul of the City.

In Enid, Okla., pandemic politics prompted a fundamental question: What does it mean to be an American? Whose version of the country will prevail?

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #elections-city-councils, #enid-okla, #masks, #oklahoma, #trump-donald-j

Is It Safe to Travel? Can I Still See My Family on Christmas?

Omicron has cast a shadow over holiday plans.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #anxiety-and-stress, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #holidays-and-special-occasions, #masks, #vaccination-and-immunization

Proud Boys Regroup Locally to Add to Ranks Before 2022 Midterms

The far-right nationalist group has become increasingly active at school board meetings and town council gatherings across the country.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #fringe-groups-and-movements, #local-government, #masks, #presidential-election-of-2020, #proud-boys, #right-wing-extremism-and-alt-right, #rumors-and-misinformation, #school-boards, #storming-of-the-us-capitol-jan-2021, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization

New York Businesses Ordered to Require Masks Indoors or Vaccine Proof

Some Republican officials criticized the move, which Gov. Kathy Hochul labeled a “wake-up call” to areas where vaccination lags.

#business-council-of-new-york, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #hochul-kathleen-c, #local-government, #masks, #new-york-state, #vaccination-and-immunization

Missouri Withheld Data Showing Effectiveness of Mask Mandates

Mask requirements prevented Covid-19 cases and deaths in Missouri, the state found, but data supporting that conclusion was not released until a month later.

#coronavirus-delta-variant, #disease-rates, #jackson-county-mo, #kansas-city-mo, #masks, #missouri, #parson-michael-l, #politics-and-government, #st-louis-mo, #st-louis-county-mo

Show Me State governor hid data showing that masks work

Gov. Mike Parson standing in front of a podium at a press conference.

Enlarge / Gov. Mike Parson at a press conference on May 29, 2019, in Jefferson City, Missouri. (credit: Getty Images | Jacob Moscovitch )

As the delta wave rose in Missouri last summer, much of the state remained unmasked. Four jurisdictions, though, restored their mask mandates, creating a natural experiment that was studied by the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services. It confirmed that, in cities and counties with mandates, masks significantly reduced infections and deaths from COVID.

Yet Gov. Mike Parson’s office, which had requested the data, kept it hidden from the public, according to a new report from the Missouri Independent.

The data was initially requested by Alex Tuttle, Gov. Parson’s legislative liaison for DHSS, on November 1, 2021. “Can you provide examples of local mandates and how those mandates impacted the spread of COVID in those areas?” he wrote.

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#covid-19, #masks, #missouri, #policy, #public-health

While Politics Consume School Board Meetings, a Very Different Crisis Festers

In a wealthy suburban Philadelphia district, schools are struggling with shortages of all sorts. Behavioral problems have mushroomed. “We are in triage mode,” one teacher said.

#bucks-county-pa, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #masks, #school-boards, #shortages, #teachers-and-school-employees

Amid Variant Fears, U.K. Discovers Limits to Its Virus Strategy

Britain’s approach to coronavirus-related restrictions has been looser than other European countries, but the Omicron variant has spurred swift action on mitigation measures.

#conservative-party-great-britain, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #disease-rates, #great-britain, #javid-sajid-1969, #johnson-boris, #masks, #politics-and-government, #spector-tim-1958, #travel-warnings, #vaccination-and-immunization

Becoming a Parent, or Deciding Not To

Betty Rollin and other readers discuss whether it is “still OK to procreate.” Also: Following the kids’ lead on masks; regulating cyberwar.

#adoptions, #children-and-childhood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #foster-care, #international-relations, #masks, #parenting, #women-and-girls

Counterfeit Covid Masks Are Still Sold Everywhere

Rising Covid cases have spurred a return to mask-wearing in the U.S. and overseas, at a time when flawed KN95s from China continue to dominate e-commerce sites.

#amazon-com-inc, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #consumer-reviews, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #counterfeit-merchandise, #e-commerce, #food-and-drug-administration, #international-trade-and-world-market, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #united-states-politics-and-government, #warren-elizabeth

The Design Legacy of Covid? It’s All Around You.

Some objects and practices born in lockdown will probably stick around for decades — for better or worse.

#2021-tech-and-design, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #design, #masks, #quarantine-life-and-culture

When Can We Stop Wearing Masks?

Although the end of mask mandates is in sight, restrictions should remain in place through the holidays, experts say.

#bmj-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #education-k-12, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

When Can the Covid Masks Finally Come Off?

Although the end of mask mandates is in sight, restrictions should remain in place through the holidays, experts say.

#bmj-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #education-k-12, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

NFL Adds Mask Requirement, Increases Covid Testing

After N.F.L. cases more than doubled, the league strengthened its Covid-19 protocols and recommended teams help set up testing for families of players and team staff ahead of the holiday.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #football, #green-bay-packers, #masks, #national-football-league, #tests-medical, #thanksgiving-day

When Will Kids’ Masks Come Off at School?

With vaccines soon available to kids 5 and up, planning should start now.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #education-k-12, #internal-sub-only-nl, #masks, #parenting, #vaccination-and-immunization

Unmasked Cops Remove a Subway Rider After He Confronts Them

Andrew Gilbert said he repeatedly asked two officers to wear masks in accordance with M.T.A. and Police Department policy. He was eventually pushed out of the station.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #de-blasio-bill, #masks, #metropolitan-transportation-authority, #new-york-city, #police-department-nyc, #subways, #vaccination-and-immunization

How Will Blue America Live With Covid?

It can be the safety-above-all caricature that deep-red America has made of it, or it can leave the age of emergency behind.

#bedford-trevor, #connecticut, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #epidemics, #masks, #mississippi, #new-england-states-us, #new-haven-conn, #vaccination-and-immunization

No Mask Required: The Joys and Fears of Seeing U.K. Theater Now

With mask wearing and proof of vaccination not legally required, it’s up to venues and audience members to make their own decisions about coronavirus safety.

#coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #great-britain, #london-england, #masks, #theater, #theaters-buildings

Why Public Health Is in Crisis: Threats, Departures, New Laws

An examination of hundreds of health departments around the country shows that the nation may be less prepared for the next pandemic than it was for the current one.

#budgets-and-budgeting, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #doctors, #epidemics, #government-employees, #hot-springs-county-wyo, #local-government, #masks, #medicine-and-health, #port-angeles-wash, #states-us, #threats-and-threatening-messages, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #wilson-county-kan

Attitudes Toward Masks Around the World

Readers compare how Germany, Australia, France and the United States have been dealing with Covid. Also: Means-testing for social programs; getting even with robocallers.

#australia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #france, #germany, #masks, #taxation, #telemarketing, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization, #welfare-us

Wisconsinites plan to sue “every school board” that ignores CDC’s COVID advice

Four cans of beer with names such as

Enlarge / Beers sold by the Minocqua Brewing Company.

A Wisconsin brewery that says it’s fed up with “anti-science,” “Tucker Carlson-watching zombies” is funding a series of lawsuits against school boards that do not follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on COVID-19. So far, the Minocqua Brewing Company’s Super PAC has helped parents sue two school districts and says it plans on “suing every school board in Wisconsin that doesn’t follow CDC guidelines to protect the spread of COVID in schools.”

In a Facebook post Sunday, brewery owner and Super PAC founder Kirk Bangstad answered a question that he said he was asked in “every interview” he did with news outlets last week: “Why is a brewery funding this lawsuit?”

“Our Super PAC should NOT be funding these lawsuits,” Bangstad wrote. “We always thought that our government, the teacher’s union, the ACLU, the hospitals, the nurse’s unions, or any other number of progressive groups or ‘academies of smart people who understand stuff’ should be stepping up to block the alt-right, anti-science, and anti-history nonsense that has overcome school boards across our state. Wisconsin communities have exploded with the Delta variant because many school districts have dropped all forms of COVID mitigation that were in place last year due to the shrieking hordes of Tucker Carlson-watching zombies separated from their cerebrums and driven only by their lizard brains.”

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#covid-19, #masks, #policy

On Masks and Covid, I Found Common Sense in Germany

A look at life in Germany, where common-sense Covid measures aren’t politicized.

#alternative-for-germany, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #germany, #masks, #united-states

New Jersey Election Seen as Test of Coronavirus Mandates

The New Jersey’s governor contest is one of the first statewide elections to measure how voters now feel about strict coronavirus mandates.

#ciattarelli-jack-m, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #elections-governors, #masks, #monmouth-university, #murphy-philip-d-1957, #new-jersey, #politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization

At New York Comic Con, Masks Are No Longer Just for Fun

Fans are coming up with creative ideas to incorporate masks into their cosplay as in-person gatherings resume, with restrictions.

#comic-con-conventions, #conventions-fairs-and-trade-shows, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #costumes, #javits-jacob-k-convention-center-manhattan-ny, #manhattan-nyc, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #reedpop

With Masks On or Off, Schools Try to Find the New Normal

Despite some turmoil, the vast majority of students have been in classrooms full-time and mostly uninterrupted this fall. Now, educators debate what’s next.

#boston-mass, #contact-tracing-public-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #education-k-12, #georgia, #masks, #quarantines, #teachers-and-school-employees, #wyoming

Citing liberty, Idaho Lt. Gov. McGeachin bans vaccine mandates in power grab

A warmly dressed woman speaks into a microphone.

Enlarge / Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin speaks during a mask-burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on March 6, 2021, in Boise, Idaho. (credit: Getty | Nathan Howard)

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin grabbed the reins Tuesday by banning COVID-19 vaccination “passports” and mandatory COVID-19 testing in the state while Gov. Brad Little was away on travel. She also sought information on deploying the National Guard to the Texas border.

Gov. Little was, in fact, in Texas on Tuesday, meeting with nine other Republican governors regarding the Biden administration’s handling of border issues.

“I am in Texas performing my duties as the duly elected Governor of Idaho, and I have not authorized the Lt. Governor to act on my behalf,” Little said in a statement late Tuesday. “I will be rescinding and reversing any actions taken by the Lt. Governor when I return.”

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#covid-19, #governor, #idaho, #mandates, #masks, #public-health, #science, #vaccine

English Schools Drop Mask Mandates, but Questions Rise Along With Cases

England is taking more risks than many U.S. schools as a way of returning to normal. Many parents approve, but with more than 180,000 students absent in recent weeks, others question the trade off.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #england, #masks, #parenting, #vaccination-and-immunization

Is the Coronavirus Getting Better at Airborne Transmission?

The Alpha variant traveled more efficiently in small droplets, two new studies found. The Delta variant may have continued this evolution.

#clinical-infectious-diseases-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #disease-rates, #masks, #national-institute-of-allergy-and-infectious-diseases, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

Masks, Especially Surgical Ones, Reduce Covid Risk

One of the largest studies to date shows masks work.

#bangladesh, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #research

We Did the Research: Masks Work, and You Should Choose a Surgical Mask

One of the largest studies to date shows masks work.

#bangladesh, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #research

The Restaurant Host Is Suddenly at the Front of the Covid Wars

Forget the powerful maître d’ of old. Today’s hosts are mostly young, inexperienced women who have to enforce health rules and deal with the sometimes violent response.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #labor-and-jobs, #masks, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #united-states, #vaccination-proof-and-immunization-records, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

The Texas School Superintendent Who Defied Governor Abbott

Pedro Martinez is leaving San Antonio to become Chicago’s schools chief. He weighs in on his battles with Gov. Greg Abbott and why a student vaccine mandate should be “on the table.”

#abbott-gregory-w-1957, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #chicago-ill, #content-type-personal-profile, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #martinez-pedro-1951, #masks, #san-antonio-tex, #teachers-and-school-employees, #vaccination-and-immunization

As Florida punishes schools, study finds masks cut school COVID outbreaks 3.5X

A second-grade teacher talks to her class during the first day of school at Tustin Ranch Elementary School in Tustin, CA on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

Enlarge / A second-grade teacher talks to her class during the first day of school at Tustin Ranch Elementary School in Tustin, CA on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. (credit: Getty | Paul Bersebach)

Schools with universal masking were 3.5 times less likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak and saw rates of child COVID-19 cases 50 percent lower in their counties compared with schools without mask requirements. That’s according to two new studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new data lands as masks continue to be a political and social flash point in the US. And children—many of whom are still ineligible for vaccination—have headed back into classrooms.

In one of the newly published studies, health researchers in Arizona looked at schools with and without mask policies in Maricopa and Pima Counties. Together, the counties account for more than 75 percent of the state’s population. The researchers identified 210 schools that had universal masking requirements from the start of their school years. They compared those to 480 schools that had no mask requirements throughout the study period, which ran from July 15 to August 30.

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#case-rates, #children, #covid-19, #florida, #infectious-disease, #masks, #outbreaks, #pandemic, #public-health, #ron-desantis, #schools, #science

Does My Mask Protect Me Against Covid-19 If Others Don’t Wear One?

Masks work best when everyone in the room has one on, but you’ll still benefit from masking up even when those around you aren’t.

#content-type-service, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #disease-rates, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #vaccination-and-immunization, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Ron DeSantis Was a Slam Dunk in Florida. Until He Wasn’t.

By following a G.O.P. base strategy on pandemic issues in a state hard hit by Covid, he may have left himself vulnerable.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #crist-charlie, #desantis-ron, #elections-governors, #florida, #masks, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2024, #republican-party, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

For Parents ​of Disabled Children, School Mask Wars Are Particularly Wrenching

In Tennessee, where the governor allows families to ignore school mask mandates, some parents are making excruciating calculations each morning about whether to send their children to school.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #lee-william-byron-1959, #masks, #parenting, #special-education, #tennessee, #united-states-politics-and-government

Florida’s new surgeon general skeptical of vaccines, opposes masks

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Florida Department of Health office in Viera, Florida, on September 1, 2021.

Enlarge / Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a news conference at the Florida Department of Health office in Viera, Florida, on September 1, 2021. (credit: Getty | SOPA images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that the state’s new surgeon general will be Joseph Ladapo, a UCLA researcher known for opposing evidence-based mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and lockdowns.

Instead, Dr. Ladapo advocates for the controversial idea of embracing “the reality of viral spread” to achieve herd immunity.

“Florida will completely reject fear as a way of making policies in public health,” Ladapo said in a press conference Tuesday after DeSantis announced his appointment. Fear, he said, has “been unfortunately a centerpiece of health policy in the United States ever since the beginning of the pandemic and it’s over here. Expiration date: it’s done.”

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#florida, #great-barrington, #herd-immunity, #masks, #public-health, #science, #vaccines

Will A Mask Protect You From Covid If Nobody Else is Wearing One?

Masks work best when everyone in the room has one on, but you’ll still benefit from masking up even when those around you aren’t.

#coronavirus-delta-variant, #disease-rates, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #vaccination-and-immunization, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Covid Vaccine Prompts Strong Immune Response in Younger Children, Pfizer Says

Vaccinated kids aged 5 to 11 showed evidence of protection against the virus, the company said. The data must be reviewed by the F.D.A. before children can be inoculated.

#biontech-se, #children-and-childhood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #education-k-12, #masks, #moderna-inc, #pfizer-inc, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

Biden Doubled Mask Fines for Travelers. What Does it Mean for Passengers?

Battles over mask-wearing in airports and on planes have become common, but how many people actually end up getting fined? And who’s in charge of the process?

#airlines-and-airplanes, #airports, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fines-penalties, #masks, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #transportation, #transportation-security-administration

Help! We’re Going to Europe and Haven’t a Clue Which Masks to Pack.

Mask mandates exist to varying degrees throughout Europe, and the details — inside, outside, fabric, N95 and more — are dizzying.

#air-france, #airlines-and-airplanes, #austria, #content-type-service, #czech-republic, #france, #germany, #masks, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #transit-systems, #travel-and-vacations, #travel-warnings

Mask Mandates Are Creating School Board Chaos

Americans have a long history of taking out their grievances on low-level school officials.

#demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #education-k-12, #local-government, #masks