In Omicron Outbreak, US Governors Lose Appetite For Mandates

FILE - People wear face masks at an outdoor mall with closed business amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles on June 11, 2021. During earlier surges of the COVID-19 pandemic, some governors ordered business closures, issued mask mandates and required vaccines in certain settings. Some even required quarantines for out-of-state travelers. No more. The record-shattering caseload of the omicron surge has been met with a collective shrug by most governors, who are displaying little appetite for widespread public orders or shutdowns. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

(AP) — Governors across the U.S. took sweeping action during earlier surges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are taking a much different approach during the record-setting caseloads caused by the omicron variant. Previously, many of them closed schools or ordered businesses shut down. They issued mask mandates, vaccine requirements and, in some places, quarantines for those who had traveled to hot spots out of state.

While governors are now sending help to hospitals, they are displaying little appetite for widespread public orders or shutdowns even as the omicron surge shatters COVID-19 case records. Even Democratic governors who passed strict mandates early on are relying more on persuasion than dictates.


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