As a new Covid variant emerges, pandemic-era guidelines including social distancing and mask mandates are popping back up in some places.
Morris Brown College is a private liberal arts school in Atlanta, Georgia where both students and employees are now being required to wear masks in crowded areas such as hallways and classrooms for at least two weeks. Reports of positive cases among the student body have driven concerns that the new variant is going to cause a renewed boom in Covid cases not just within the college but around the country. This also means that there will be no parties or gatherings for that time, and social distancing will once again be implemented.
But Georgia isn’t the only place where concern over the new strand of infection is brewing. Government doctors in Seattle recently demanded that masks be mandatory in nursing settings again, in an op-ed posted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). Despite much debate about mask efficacy following the official end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, these public health officials are insisting that the vulnerable population of places of medicine such as hospitals and nursing homes would benefit from any act that may reduce “risk for Covid contracted in the hospital among patients and health care workers.”
They further impress the need to “adapt to this new reality” and not “accepting unnecessary risks to patient and provider health.”
This kind of talk has become common following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) admission that they are tracking a new Covid variant called BA.2.86 which is being referred to as “highly mutated.”
As American Wire previously reported, the World Health Organization (WHO) received swift pushback regarding the strain, with many people worried that this would be used as justification to return to shutdowns, mandates and restrictions.
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“The variant BA.2.86 was placed on the monitoring list ‘due to the large number of mutations it carries,’ WHO stated in a post on X,” American Wire wrote. “‘So far, only a few sequences of the variant have been reported from a handful of countries,’ the organization added.”
It remains unclear whether the federal or state governments will enact any restrictions, which remain unpopular, ahead of the 2024 elections.
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