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Soaring COVID-19 Cases Renew US Debate Over Mask Mandates

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FILE - Teachers protest for stronger COVID-19 safety protocols outside Oakland Unified School District headquarters on Jan. 7, 2022, in Oakland, Calif. Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows weary of pandemic-related restrictions. Much of the debate centers around the nation’s schools, some of which closed due to infection-related staffing issues. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Officials across the U.S. are again weighing how and whether to impose mask mandates as COVID-19 infections soar and the American public grows weary of pandemic-related restrictions.

Much of the debate centers around the nation’s schools, some of which closed due to infection-related staffing issues. Yet in a variety of places, mask mandates are being lifted or voted down.

The changes come as the federal government assesses the supply of medical-grade respirator face coverings, such as N95 or KN95 masks. Jeff Zients is White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. He says the government has a stockpile of more than 750 million N95 masks.

 

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