The change in direction from just a month ago reflected the increase in Covid-1 cases and hospitalization by highly contagious variants, Murphy told a news conference.
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“There are some things that always remain and must remain in politics, and this is one of them,” Murphy said, a Democrat who is the only U.S. governor to be re-elected this fall. The controversy over masks resumed in U.S. schools last month when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overturned the course and advised all students and staff to wear masks at school, regardless of vaccination status.
A patchwork of policies has emerged from state to state, and even from city to city, centering on the issue that has become deeply political in the United States.
In New Jersey, Covid-1 cases have risen 105% in the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis of public health data. Hospital admissions have increased by 92% in the last four weeks, the data shows.
About %% of New Jersey residents have received at least one dose of the Covid-1 vaccine. The U.S. vaccination rate varies widely from 76% of Vermont residents to 411% of first-dose doses in Mississippi.
States with low vaccination rates have been hardest hit by the fast-spreading variant.
White House officials said last week Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi accounted for half of the country’s new cases and hospitalizations.
In Florida, the Board of Education on Friday passed an emergency rule that would allow parents to transfer their child to another school “when a student has to be harassed in response to the Covid-1m mitigation protocol in a school district,” including the mask protocol.
The new approved rules allow parents to transfer their children to a private school or a school in another district under the Hope Scholarship, a fund originally created to allow Florida public school students who have been victims of rape to move to another institution.
During an emergency meeting, a parent called the rule “moral resentment” which is equivalent to ordering a school mask for harassment and rape.
Republican Gov. Ron de Santis issued an executive order last week mandating masks in state schools.
As of Friday morning, 13,427 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in the state of Sunshine, a new record high, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Broward County Public Schools Board will decide on Tuesday how to proceed following Dissent’s order.
Board Chairman Rosalind Osgood, who plans to vote for the need for masks for students and school staff in the county, told CNN on Friday: “I am not willing to risk anyone’s life when we have a deadly epidemic.”
Several of the country’s largest school districts, including New York and Los Angeles, have made masks mandatory for the upcoming school year.
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