Reimposing Masks Mandate

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As the reporting of new cases from new Omicron subvariants are increasing, some cities like Philadelphia and others are reportedly resorting to “restoring indoor mask mandate“.

Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, the health commissioner, told ABC News that confirmed cases of Covid-19, driven Omicron BA.2 subvariant, has reportedly risen by more than 50% in the past few weeks. Dr. Bettigole told “If we fail to act now, knowing that every previous wave of infections has been followed by a wave of hospitalizations, and then a wave of deaths, it will be too late for many of our residents. This is our chance to get ahead of the pandemic, to put our masks on until we have more information about the severity of this new variant.”

According to the ABC News, the New York City is reportedly “now averaging around 1,800 new cases per day, about three times higher than in early March when New York began easing rules”. In response to rising cases, New York city has already raised Covid-19 alert level, writes the Washington Post.

They are responding to the public. People are really fed up with all of these restrictions.

– Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (source: The Washington Post)

The Post writes “The shift away from mask mandates in blue cities and states has been months in the making, and they are not coming back even as cases of the highly transmissible BA. 2 coronavirus variant rise. Democratic governors urged residents to learn to live with a virus that isn’t going away when they lifted mask mandates in quick succession in February and March. The spread of BA. 2 and other subvariants of omicron — which are even more transmissible than their highly contagious predecessor — on the East Coast presented an early test of that commitment.”

In a time when we have fairly mild variant and a public that’s really mask-averse, it might not be the most important thing to mandate masks.

– Chrissie Juliano, executive director of the Big Cities Health Coalition (source: The Washington Post)

Other public health leaders also reportedly making their own calculations based on rising new Covid cases and hospitalization number.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of May 11) 733,497,155 doses have been distributed and 580,038,981 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data a total of 9,895,708 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of May 11) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,473,521 with 12,536 deaths.