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Atlanta College at Center of COVID Backlash confirms end of mask mandate

A Georgia college has ended its mask-wearing mandate following reports of positive COVID-19 cases among students, officials have confirmed. News week.

Morris Brown College in Atlanta sparked a backlash after announcing in August that it had reinstated its decision requiring masks to be worn on college property.

All students and employees will be required to wear masks for 14 days beginning Aug. 20, college president Dr. Kevin James wrote in a letter posted on the institution’s Instagram page.

A sign requiring face masks on a store door on September 1, 2023 in New York City. A Georgia college has repealed its ordinance requiring students and staff to wear masks.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The mask mandate was due to end on Sunday, James confirmed to News week in an email. However, the college “will still have multiple security protocols in place,” he said.

Parties and large student events would be banned on campus during the two-week period, James said in the letter announcing the end of the mask ruling.

Students and employees are also required to submit to temperature checks upon arrival on campus and to maintain physical distancing, the letter states. Those who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for five days and undergo contact tracing.

It was not immediately clear which of the protocols outlined in the letter remained in effect.

The college isn’t the only place where mask mandates have returned in recent weeks, as some schools, hospitals and businesses have reinstated mask requirements in response to rising COVID-19 cases.

Such mandates have sparked a “we will not comply” movement from people fearful of a return to widespread restrictions.

“Americans are sick of the COVID hysteria. WE WILL NOT COMPLY WITH YOU!” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, alongside a post about Morris Brown College reinstating its two-week mask mandate.

The World Health Organization classified a new variant of COIVD-19, EG.5, as a “variant of interest” in August, but said its risk to global public health is low. Another variant, BA.2.86., has also recently emerged and as of August 23 has been reported in the US, UK, Denmark, South Africa and Israel.

As pandemic-related requirements like mask-wearing polarize, some scientists are advising people to wear masks again during times of high transmission.

“Masks are more important when a highly immune variant emerges, that is, a variant that does not fit well with existing vaccines,” said epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre, professor of global biosecurity at the Kirby Institute. from the University of New South Wales, Australia. , recently said News week.

“COVID remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide and has caused a drop in life expectancy in the United States”


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