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States divided over mask mandates

A sixth-grader on her first day of school on Wednesday at Freeman Elementary in Flint, Mich. Associated Press/Photo by Jake May/The Flint Journal

States divided over mask mandates

The Arkansas legislature convened Wednesday for a special session about public health during this phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, signed a law in April forbidding schools and other governmental bodies from mandating face masks. But as cases of the delta variant surge across the country, Hutchinson backtracked and asked the General Assembly to revise the law. “Everything has changed now,” he said “And yes, in hindsight, I wish that had not become law.”

How bad is the surge? New cases of COVID-19 are back up to February levels, about 100,000 per day. That’s an 800 percent increase since late June. Hospitalizations have quadrupled. Deaths have also ticked up, but not nearly at the same rate. COVID-19 fatalities have increased by about 60 percent since early July. Illinois’ Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, announced Wednesday that school children will have to wear masks in the classroom. Florida Gov. Ron De Santis, a Republican, has banned schools from requiring masks, saying people should have the freedom to choose. Despite the order, at least two Florida school boards have decided to mandate masks for students and staff.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Schooled about lawsuits over mask requirements at the college level.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.



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The number of deaths the US is having right now is approximately what we were seeing in early June. So, saying there is a 60% uptick since July is true, but a little misleading since early to mid July was our lowest number of deaths since the pandemic started.
Yet again, the kids have to suffer for the adults. I don't want school children to protect me from Covid!


I once trusted World Magazine to do a much better job than the mainstream media, but this article sounds like it could have been on any TV network, or left leaning newspaper/magazine.
World reporters and editors ~ you should be doing a better job than you have lately.


"COVID-19 fatalities have increased by about 60 percent since early July." What does this mean?
Is this going from 10 deaths in a month in a State to 16 deaths?
Is this going from 10,000 deaths in a month to 16,000 nationwide?
I looked at the CDC data on the county I grew up in in Illinois and the county where I live in Florida. Both are rated as COVID-19 hot spots, but neither has had any COVID deaths since mid-June.
"Trust, but verify!" isn't just a historical saying.