As the number of Covid cases start falling, experts say the nation remains susceptible to outbreaks. That’s why the majority of public health officials insist that people keep wearing face masks as it helps prevent the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, the implementation of mask rules across the US has been inconsistent. Now, President Joe Biden wants to change that.
National Mask Mandate
One of President Biden’s first actions in office was to issue two new orders in regards to wearing masks. One order requires that masks be worn at airports, bus stations and other transportation hubs, and on planes, trains, ships and buses. The second order requires masks on federal property.
Together, the two orders come as close to a national mask mandate as some believe federal powers allow, but they are not the national mask requirement for which some public health experts had hoped.
State and local governments have varied widely on implementation of mask rules. While most states have some type of mask mandate, some have no statewide rule — either leaving it as a recommendation or giving the authority to local officials.
Here are the states with no statewide mask requirement:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
New infections have fallen close to 70% nationwide in just over six weeks, bringing the average number of cases to levels that were last seen in early fall. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has plummeted by nearly 60% since the peak in January.
However, just because Covid-19 numbers are declining, experts warn Americans shouldn’t let their guard down just yet. Covid variants are still around and the longer they’re allowed to spread the higher the risk of another outbreak.
Whether you’re already vaccinated or waiting your turn, continue to stay vigilant. Keep wearing masks, avoid crowded places and practice good hygiene. These are all things that have helped control the spread of infection and will continue to do so in the future.