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Mask mandates are back

Experts are calling for mask mandates again as the delta variant continues to spread

“Masks required” signage is pictured on the front doors of Pixels Foto & Frame in Utah.
“Masks required” signage is pictured on the front doors of Pixels Foto & Frame in Sandy on Monday, April 5, 2021. A number of experts are calling for mask mandates to return as the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus rages throughout the country.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

A number of experts are calling for mask mandates to return as the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus rages throughout the country, putting millions of lives at risk.

Experts recommend mask mandates

The delta variant has proven to be more transmissible, leading to an uptick in cases around the United States. So experts have been calling for mask mandates to return, according to USA Today.

We’ve already seen it happen. Los Angeles County, for example, announced it would add an indoor mask mandate again as the delta variant continues to surge through the county, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams told WISH-TV that mask mandates need to return to keep people safe.

  • “We need to prepare the public for what could be, again, a return to some of these mitigation measures,” he said.
  • He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should “hit the reset button” and recommend mask-wearing again as the coronavirus cases continue to spike.

Kimberly Prather, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, told The Washington Post that she “absolutely” supports indoor mask mandates to return amid the delta surge.

  • “The best protection everybody has is masks,” she said.

Do people want mask mandates?

Not everyone wants a mask mandate, though. As The Washington Post reports, “many Americans say they have stopped wearing face coverings, and experts acknowledge it will be difficult to persuade them to resume.”

And there’s the economy to consider. Towns, cities and businesses have continued to reopen now that the indoor mask mandates have been taken down. Adding the mask mandates back could pose a threat to those businesses.

Will mask mandates return?

Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told The Washington Post that this might be the way things go for awhile.

  • “You know, recovery from just about anything comes in cycles — things get better, and they get worse, and they get better, and they get worse. It’s rare that it’s linear. And I think that’s what’s going on here,” Plescia said.