And the Democratic states, after the Republicans, are beginning to relax the use of the mask
California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and possibly New York soon: Democrat-ruled states, one after the other, announce the abolition of compulsory mask use in schools, many months after it was thrown out by Republican states across the United States. .
The mask has become a political symbol in the United States, where mandatory face masks are seen as a violation of individual freedoms by Republicans and much of the right. Thus, in Republican-ruled states such as Florida and Texas, the authorities refused to impose the use of a mask.
In the Democratic States, on the other hand, the mask is mandatory in shops, schools, public services, transportation, and sometimes even in private companies.
As of yesterday, Monday, States on the East and West Coasts, which traditionally vote for Democrats and have been imposing tough restrictive measures for the past two years, began announcing their easing.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who was re-elected in November, said the mask would no longer be mandatory in schools from March 7. "A huge step towards returning our children to normalcy," he said.
Murphy's example was later followed by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. The mask in the schools of this State will be removed on February 28.
Another small state, Delaware, where President Joe Biden's home is located, announced that the use of the mask indoors will be abolished from Friday, while in schools it will be abolished on March 31.
The biggest sensation, however, was the announcement by Gavin Newsom, governor of California, a state of 40 million people: the indoor mask will be removed for all vaccinated citizens, from February 15. Newsom explained in a Twitter post that infections have dropped by 65% compared to the "peak" of the Omicron variant and that there is "stabilization in hospitalizations" across the state.
However, in schools, unvaccinated students will continue to wear a mask and the governor invited them to be vaccinated or to get the third dose of the vaccine.
Finally, in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown announced that she would lift the mandatory mask measure "by March 31 at the latest."
New infections in the US have dropped significantly in recent days to around 300.000 on average, on a daily basis, far from the 800.000 recorded in mid-January. The death toll in two years of pandemic exceeded 900.000 on February 4.