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US cities to lift face mask mandates

Washington, Feb 9 (Prensa Latina) New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Wednesday became the last US territories to announce they will lift their statewide mask requirements due to pressure from locals already tired up by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those states joined California and other ones in changing their local health mandates as the wave of the new Omicron variant backs down.

Local health measures put some pressure on the Joe Biden administration, and particularly on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in order to offer new guidance on face coverings.

According to The New York Times, the White House discreetly met with external health experts to plan a way-out strategy for the pandemic and a transition to the “new normalcy.”

However, the New York Time reported, the behind-the-scenes effort is colliding with the public reality that governors of Democratic-ruled states have gotten ahead of US president by suddenly eliminating their mask mandates.

We are working on following trends at the moment, but we should not get overconfident. Our hospitalizations and death rates from Covid-19 remain too high, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday.

Massachusetts’ school mask mandate will end on February 28, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced she will end indoor mask mandate this week, but claimed she needs more time to lift such a measure in schools.

Rhode Island announced mask requirement will end as of next Friday.

The White House urged the state authorities to follow the data and guidelines of scientific community, since this could not be a decision driven by political interests. mh/pll/acl/age

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