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More US States To Ease Mask Mandates as COVID-19 Cases Drop

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Coronavirus
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More US states are planning to ease mask mandates for schools and indoor public settings amid the drop in recent surge of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant.

Officials in New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, California, and Oregon have announced their states will lift indoor mask mandates for schools and other public places in the coming weeks.

California is set to end a universal indoor mask mandate next week and roll back other restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Xinhua news agency reported.

Connecticut will permit students and staff members to stop wearing masks in schools by no later than February 28.

Delaware will end mask mandates in schools by March 31.

Statewide mask mandates for schools and indoor settings had been imposed in only a handful of states, according to a New York Times database.

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The plans by these states represented "one of the biggest rollbacks of statewide health protocols" since the pandemic began, said a report in The New York Times.

The plans of easing mask mandates came as COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations continued to decline across the US.

As of 2 February, COVID-19 cases are down 53.1 percent from their peak on January 15, according to data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

COVID-19 cases are declining across US

(Photo :iStock)

The country was averaging about 378,000 new daily cases nationwide by 2 February, a decrease of 37.6 percent from the previous week, according to CDC weekly data.

The country is currently averaging about 16,000 new hospital admissions each day, an 18 percent drop from the pervious week as per the CDC.

Despite the drop in cases and hospitalisations, the current seven-day moving average of new deaths, which stood at about 2,400, has increased 1.6 percent compared with the previous week.

"The increase in new deaths is largely because data on deaths tends to lag behind case data by two to three weeks," Zhang Zuofeng, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Xinhua.

(This story was published from a syndicated feed. Only the headline and picture have been edited by FIT.)

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