Milwaukee Public Schools Lifts Mask Mandate for One Day, Immediately Reimposes Restriction

Milwaukee Public Schools announced on Tuesday that students will be forced to comply with another mask mandate, after the school district lifted the policy for one day.

According to the school district, cases among students and staff increased, influencing leaders to reimplement the restriction. 

Read More

Biden Administration Will Fight to Keep Mask Mandate for Planes, Trains and Airports

The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed a federal judge’s ruling overturning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate on planes, trains and in airports.

In her ruling to overturn the mandate, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle called the CDC mandate “unlawful,” saying the Biden administration did not follow proper procedures and went beyond its authority in making the rule.

Read More

Four Largest Airlines Drop COVID Mask Requirement Hours After Trump-Appointed Judge Strikes Down CDC Mandate

Four major U.S. airlines are ditching COVID-19 mask requirements after a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for air passengers and others mass travelers.

Several airlines, including United Airlines, Delta, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines announced that they were dropping the mask requirements for passengers and employees.

Read More

Philadelphia to Reinstate Indoor COVID-19 Mask Mandate amid Rise in Reported Cases, Hospitalizations

Philadelphia said Monday the city is bringing back its indoor mask mandates for public places, schools and daycares amid an increase in COVID-16 cases and hospitalization.

The mask mandate will officially return on April 18. The city’s previous mask mandate was dropped March 2, roughly just six weeks ago.

Read More

Pennsylvania Judge Kicks School Board Members Out of Positions for Mask Mandate

A Pennsylvania judge ruled to kick five Democratic members off the school board for the West Chester Area School District over a mask mandate.

Judge William Mahon of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas ruled to immediately remove the officials from their position due to “no response” from the members to a petition to end the mandate.

Read More

St. Paul Refuses to Drop Mask Mandate for Students

Mother putting mask on child

St. Paul Public Schools voted this week against a resolution that would make masks optional for students and faculty.

St. Paul is one of a few school districts in the state to still have a mask mandate in place — Minneapolis Public Schools is another district that has yet to drop its mandate. Nationally, liberal strongholds like New York City and Portland have dropped their mask mandates for schools.

Read More

Connecticut School District Moves to Optional Masking After Relaxed, Statewide Restrictions

Waterbury Public Schools will shift to optional mask requirements on March 7, according to a letter distributed to students, parents, and staff.

The district, which had previously remained hesitant, will allow students to continue to wear a mask, if they do not feel comfortable.

Read More

University of Connecticut Announces Easing of Mask Mandate but Still Requires Masks Be Worn in All Classes, Labs

The University of Connecticut announced Thursday a change in its mask mandate from “required” to “recommended,” but said students, faculty, staff, and visitors would still be required to wear masks in all classes, labs, rehearsal rooms, and other spaces on the school’s campuses at least until April 1.

Read More

Despite Connecticut Governor Lamont Ending Statewide School Masking, Hamden Keeps Mandate

Although Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) allowed the statewide school-mask mandate to end on Monday, the Hamden Board of Education (BOE) voted that evening to indefinitely extend its requirement.

The vote came down along party lines, with Republican BOE members Austin Cesare, Kevin Shea and Gary Walsh supporting the mandate’s cancellation; Board Chair Melissa A. Kaplan as well as fellow Democrats David Asbery, Siobhan Carter-David, Mariam Khan and Réuel Parks voted to keep it.

Read More

Wisconsin Assembly Approves Multiple Education-Focused Bills

The Wisconsin Assembly approved multiple pieces of legislation focused on education-related issues, sending the bills to the Wisconsin Senate for full legislative approval.

One of the bills is a “parental bill of rights” that would establish certain legal rights for parents throughout the state, like maintaining a voice surrounding education curriculum taught to their child or choice in medical decisions. 

Read More

Columbus and Surrounding Cities’ Mayors Signal Potential End to Indoor Mask Mandate

City leaders from Bexley, Whitehall, Worthington, and Columbus met with Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts and Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola recently to receive an update on the status of the spread of COVID-19 in the community, according to a statement by the city of Columbus.

Currently, each city has local orders in place requiring the wearing of face coverings indoors, however, Dr. Roberts reported that both COVID-19 transmission rates and hospitalizations have continued to decline dramatically. If current trends continue, each city expects to consider lifting local face covering requirements in the coming weeks, according to the press release.

Read More

Minnesota School District Ends Mask Mandate for Children

Wayzata Public Schools, located outside of Minneapolis, voted to end its mask mandates for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The district pointed to low coronavirus numbers, and 76 percent of their students have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read More

Washington, D.C. Lifting COVID Mask, Vaccine Mandates but Face-Covers Still Required in Schools

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is lifting the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and will not extend its mask requirement into March.

The Democratic mayor also says that as of Tuesday many businesses in the nation’s capital will no longer be required to check that customers have at least one dose of the vaccine before allowing them to enter. However, they will still be allowed to make such a request on their own, according to dcist.com.

Read More

Eight Michigan Counties to Repeal School Mask Mandate

Eight Michigan counties will end school mask mandates on or before Feb. 28, citing lower COVID metrics.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan, which covers Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties, will repeal its mask mandate for schools on February 17, followed by Ingham County on February 19, and Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne County will drop their mask mandates on February 28.

Read More

University of Pittsburgh Fires Employees for Refusal to Get Coronavirus Vaccine

The University of Pittsburgh will fire nine individuals who refuse to receive the coronavirus vaccine, violating the institution’s mandate imposed last year.

According to a statement provided to the University Times, 22 individuals were originally non-compliant, but 13 individuals cleared the protocols. The university is “in the process of terminating” the others.

Read More

Commentary: The Longevity of the COVID Emergency

Two years after COVID burst on the American scene, leading to lockdowns, school closures, mask and vaccine mandates, and trillions of dollars in emergency government spending, the question on many minds is: When will the emergency end?

The answer to that question is not an easy one. An examination of past emergencies does not resolve it. Rather, it is clear that emergency situations, including this one, may be understood through various lenses, yielding different perspectives on what the endpoint will be.

Take, by way of comparison, World War II, an emergency that had at least four distinct endings because it had at least four distinct faces:

Read More

Democrats and Media Allies Claim ‘Science Has Changed’ on Mask Mandates as Midterms Approach

As the mid-term elections approach, a number of Democrat governors are now following in the steps of Republican Governors Ron DeSantis (FL) and Glenn Youngkin (VA) in support of dropping mask mandates.

Supported by their political and media allies, the governors of states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, California, and Oregon are now announcing mask mandates in schools may be dropped soon, as the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Read More

Michigan Parents’ Group Threatens to Sue School District and County Over Mask Mandate

Parents of a Michigan school district are threatening a lawsuit if officials continue to force their children to wear masks.

Attorneys from the Thomas More Society presented a demand letter February 3 on behalf of the Walled Lake Citizens for Parental Rights to the city’s Consolidated School District Board of Education.

Read More

Analysis: Coming to Grips with the Facts About Masks

Allegations that “masks work” and “don’t cause harm” have been enforced by governments and corporations around the world for more than 18 months through arrests, firings, censorship, fines, and denial of access to schools, supermarkets, hospitals, streets, and other public spaces. This has made it virtually impossible for many people to live without complying with mask mandates.
In recent weeks, however, more medical scholars and media outlets are coming to grips with facts about masks that Just Facts has been documenting for more than a year and painstakingly compiled in a September 2021 article sourced with more than 50 peer-reviewed science journals. Here’s a sample of people who are speaking up about the facts and their implications:

Dr. Vinay Prasad—an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco—has written an article that examines the scientific evidence for masking children and concludes that:

Read More

Virginia Mom Rips Into School Board over Hypocritical Mask Rules

A Virginia mother addressed her children’s school board Thursday night regarding the district’s mask mandate, which subverts Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order allowing parents to choose whether or not to mask their children in school.

A Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) mother, Carrie Lukas, condemned the school board for requiring children to mask up for school while “across Virginia, right now, adults are gathering in gyms, bars and clubs and laughing together maskless.”

“Yet my five kids spent all day today, eight hours, in masks in Fairfax County Public Schools,” she said. “My first grader has never been inside his school without a mask. He’s never had a chance to smile at his friends or hear his teachers’ unmuffled voice, and it is outrageous and ridiculous.”

Read More

Iowa Schools Must Require Masking to Accommodate Students with Disabilities

 Iowa schools must require masking when necessary as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis ruled Tuesday.

The court cited the Rehabilitation Act Section 504 in its determination.

What’s more, Iowa statute currently allows masking when federal law requires it, the court ruled, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa said in an explainer of the ruling.

Read More

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to Distribute 2 Million KN95 Masks to Schools, Local Health Organizations

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will distribute approximately 2 million KN95 masks to residents of the state through schools and local health organizations.

The move follows an announcement from President Joe Biden that his administration will disperse 400 million masks across the country, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced certain types of masks are ineffective against preventing coronavirus transmission.

Read More

Seven School Boards Sue Over Youngkin Mask-Optional Order; Sen. Petersen Threatens Legislative Action if Schools Don’t Find Mandate Off-Ramp

Seven school districts are suing Governor Glenn Youngkin over Executive Order Two, which requires schools to allow parents to opt children out of mask mandates. The lawsuit challenges Youngkin’s authority over school boards and his ability to override Senate Bill 1303, which requires schools to follow CDC guidelines.

“At issue is whether locally-elected school boards have the exclusive authority and responsibility conferred upon them by Article VIII, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia over supervision of the public schools in their respective communities, or whether an executive order can unilaterally override that constitutional authority. Also at issue is whether a governor can, through executive order, without legislative action by the Virginia General Assembly, reverse a lawfully-adopted statute,” Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) said in a Monday press release.

Read More

Missouri AG Sues 36 School Districts with Mask Requirements, But Not His Own District

Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt completed on Friday a promise made earlier this week by filing lawsuits against 36 public school districts for requiring masks.

“Mask mandates in schools are illegal, they simply don’t work, and they contribute to alarming and negative psychological impacts on our children,” Schmitt, a candidate for the seat of retiring Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, said in a statement announcing the lawsuits. “My Office has been on the frontlines of the fight to end the forced masking of children all day in school, and today we took concrete legal action toward that end. Parents and families, not bureaucrats, should have the power to decide what’s best for their children. With this litigation, we’re seeking to return that power back to parents and families, where it belongs.”

Earlier this week, leaders of two Missouri public school district collaboratives told The Center Square that attorneys for many school boards believe two Missouri statutes require districts to create and enforce policies to ensure the health and safety of students. Schmitt stated a November Cole County Circuit Court ruling, now being appealed by St. Louis and Jackson Counties at the Missouri Court of Appeals, prevents school districts from enforcing any public health orders. Schmitt set up an email box through his office in December and received 11,000 messages and photographs from people witnessing mask requirements in public schools.

Read More

Amid Legal Doubt over Youngkin Mask Opt-Out Order, Virginia Departments of Health and Education Emphasize Parents, Officials Share Responsibility for COVID-19 Mitigation

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Department of Education (VDOE) updated their guidelines to reflect Governor Glenn Youngkin’s mask-mandate opt-out order. The new guidance downplays masks and says COVID-19 risk reduction is a shared responsibility between parents and officials.

“These three core principles found in Executive Order 2 reaffirm: 1. Parents are in charge of their children’s health, wellbeing and education, 2. Schools must be open five days a week for in-person learning, and 3. The Commonwealth and school divisions must provide a safe and healthy school environment,” the new guidance states.

Read More

Judge Denies Missouri AG Request to Stop St. Louis County Mask Requirement

Eric Schmitt

A Circuit Court Judge on Wednesday denied Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop a mask requirement approved by the St. Louis County Council on Jan. 5.

Democrat Rita Heard Days, chair of the Council, didn’t know what to expect from the court.

“At this particular point, I’m not surprised about anything,” Days told The Center Square after an event in Hazelwood on Thursday. “This thing has taken a life of its own. People are trying to cope with all of this. We just hope we can get over this and move on.”

Read More

Knox County Schools Close for Remainder of Week, Cite Illness-Related Staffing Issues

Knox County Schools (KCS) will close for the remainder of the week due to illness-related staffing shortages, according to a release from the district.

The closure, likely connected to the rise in coronavirus cases in the state, will grant students and staff members two days off, in addition to the weekend. 

Read More

Chesapeake School Parents Sue Governor Youngkin Over School Mask Mandate Ban

Thirteen parents from the Chesapeake school district are suing Governor Glenn Youngkin over his Executive Order Two which requires districts to allow parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates, no reason required. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, says Youngkin’s order violates of separation of powers, since it violates SB 1303, which requires schools to comply with CDC mitigation strategies.

“Executive Order Number Two purports to sweep aside masking mandates and other protections with little or no consideration of or respect for CDC guidance, actions taken by the Virginia General Assembly, or the powers vested in school boards,” the lawsuit states, according to a copy obtained by ABC7.

Read More

Williamson County Schools Post Highest COVID Numbers Since August, Approximately 600 Students Absent

Williamson County Schools on Tuesday posted the highest number of students who tested positive for the coronavirus since August. 

In total, 590 students were absent because they were infected with the virus, in addition to approximately 200 staff members across the district.

Read More

Minnesota Doctors Call for More Mask Mandates

The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) has announced its support for renewed mask mandates in the Twin Cities.

In a statement released Thursday, the MMA said it “fully supports the decisions by Minneapolis and St. Paul to re-institute mandatory mask use while indoors” and urged “other communities to consider similar actions.”

Read More

Arizona Supreme Court Explains Voids of State Vaccination, Mask Ban Laws

exterior of Arizona's Supreme Court building

Arizona’s high court has elaborated on their decision to void additions to the most-recent state budget, saying lawmakers ran afoul of provisions in the state constitution meant to simplify legislation.

Justices released their unanimous opinion Thursday in Arizona School Boards Association et al. v. State of Arizona. The ruling, initially announced in September, affirmed a lower court ruling that said the Legislature went against two parts of the Arizona Constitution.

The opinion nullifies the state’s ban on mask mandates in schools, laws shoring up local election security and other laws justices concluded had little to do with the state budget.

Read More

Commentary: It’s 2022, But Many Schools Are Reverting to 2020’s COVID Playbook

young girl getting face mask put on her face

It’s 2022 but you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s still 2020—especially if you have children enrolled in K-12 district schooling. Some parents are grappling this week with a return to, or threat of, remote learning first introduced nearly two years ago.

Fear of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus is leading school officials across the country to once again shutter schools. In Cleveland, for example, this first week of school for the new year is entirely remote for public school students. Several districts throughout Ohio are following suit, while others are re-imposing 2020 virus-related restrictions or extending the holiday break into this week.

Newark, New Jersey public schools announced they will be fully remote for the next two weeks, as did other districts throughout the state. Public schools in Atlanta will also be closed this week, reverting back to remote learning.

Read More

Missouri Attorney General Sues St. Louis County After Council Enacts Mask Mandate

The day after the St. Louis County Council voted 4-3 along party lines to enact a mask mandate, Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit to stop it.

Schmitt, a candidate for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, filed a 17-page petition in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Wednesday. Last week, St. Louis and Jackson Counties filed an appeal with the Missouri Court of Appeals over the November ruling by a Cole County Circuit Court stating all COVID-19 public health orders were null and void.

Read More

Virginia Senate Bill 1303 Complicates Roanoke County School Board Effort to Make Masks Optional After Youngkin Takes Office

The Roanoke County School Board voted Tuesday to make masks optional once Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin takes office. On Thursday, they reversed that decision, citing potential legal complications.

“Upon Governor-elect Youngkin’s administration’s canceling of the current VDH public health order, Roanoke County Public Schools will immediately become mask optional and return to pre-COVID medical policies, leaving medical decisions such as testing, quarantining, contact tracing between the doctor and their student patient or the student’s parents and guardians,” Board Member Cheryl Facciani said in her motion.

Read More

Federal Judge Pauses COVID Mandates for Head Start Program Following Lawsuit from Tennessee Attorney General, Other States

A federal judge in Louisiana granted a temporary injunction that will protect members of the Head Start early education program from a mandate that would force masking and vaccinations for certain individuals.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty ruled the Biden administration attempted to use powers of the executive branch to make laws, a move not supported by the Constitution.

Read More

Federal Judge Blocks Mask, Vaccine Mandates for Texas Schools’ Head Start Program

A federal judge has blocked COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates in Texas’ schools Head Start program, a decision that GOP Gov. Greg Abbott is calling a win over “Biden again.”

“Texas just beat Biden again,” Abbott, a staunch opponent of such mandates, tweeted after the ruling Friday by Judge James “Wesley” Hendrix, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Hendrix, a Trump administration appointee, wrote in the ruling: “The Court concludes that the circumstances do not justify or require a nationwide injunction,” according to KLBK Lubbock. “The great majority of evidence before the Court is limited to harm caused to Head Start programs in Texas.”

Read More

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Opposes Calls for Additional Mask Mandates

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Wednesday opposed additional mask mandates, after healthcare leaders called the measure for children.

The statement from Renacci follows a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association to education officials and school board members across the state, asking for mask requirements for students.

Read More

Virginia Beach School Board Votes to Continue Mask Mandate

A resolution brought before the Virginia Beach City School Board to make masks optional for students in the district failed in an 8 to 3 vote.

If passed, the measure would have allowed each child’s parent or guardian to make a decision to wear the mask each day.

Read More

Federal Appeals Panel Denies Temporary Pause for Knox County Schools Mask Mandates

A federal appeals panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled a mask mandate for Knox County Schools, implemented by a federal judge earlier this year, must remain in place.

The three judges denied an attempt by the Knox County Board of Education to pause the mandate while the case works its way through the federal judiciary.

Read More

Georgia, 23 Other States File Lawsuit Against Head Start Vaccination, Mask Mandate

Georgia is again pushing back against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandates.

Georgia and 23 other states are asking the court to block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families from requiring Head Start program staff, certain contractors and volunteers to wear masks and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr announced the court challenge against the Head Start vaccination and mask mandate Tuesday.

Read More

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down State’s School Mask Mandate

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday ruled to strike down Governor Tom Wolf’s statewide mask mandate for schools.

The challengers of the mandate, including Pennsylvania Senate President pro tempore Jake Corman (R-Centre) and State Representative Jesse Topper (R-Bedford), argued that the decision of masking should be left to local school boards or parents, not the state government.

Read More

Police Determine Florida School Did Not Commit Child Abuse by Forcing Disabled Student to Wear a Mask

Girl with mask on and braids

After an investigation, police have determined that a Florida school tying a mask to a disabled student’s face did not count as child abuse, according to Fox News.

The investigation was initiated after seven-year-old Sofia Bezerra, who has Down syndrome, was found to have a mask tied to her head with a nylon string when she got off the bus after school on October 7th. Her step-father, Jeffrey Steel, said that she had left for school that morning without a mask on since she had received a medical exemption to the school’s mask mandate. Steel said that, as a result of her Down syndrome, his step-daughter has an enlarged tongue and breathes primarily through her mouth, which would make a mask more dangerous for her; when she came home, the mask was wet with her own saliva.

Read More

Michigan Department of Health Advises Mask Mandate for All

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will be issuing a face mask advisory effective until further notice. The agency is also offering guidance for the holidays, citing an increase in COVID-19 and flu cases.

MDHHS will issue a Public Health Advisory that recommends everyone over the age of two should wear a face mask at indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status. The agency recommends establishments implement a mask policy.

Read More

Wisconsin School District Will Extend COVID Protocols into Spring 2022

Madison Metropolitan School District will continue their coronavirus protocols into the spring semester, according to a release from the district’s superintendent.

The measures, which require students and faculty to continue to wear a mask at all times, have remained in place since the beginning of the school year.

Read More

Mask Mandate will Remain in Metro Nashville Public Schools Despite New Statewide Legislation

On Sunday, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced that masks will remain necessary in the school system until further notice despite Governor Bill Lee signing legislation into law that prohibits schools from implementing mask mandates.

Read More

Williamson County School Board Votes to End Mask Mandate

The Williamson County school board voted to end their mask mandate after Governor Bill Lee passed the new COVID legislation. The school board reportedly voted Friday evening but met Thursday night to discuss the possible outcomes of their mask mandate following the signing of the new COVID legislation. 

The Communiy Impact Newspaper reported that Friday evening, parents received an email from the Williamson County School Board Executive Director of Communications Carol Birdsong.

Read More

Florida School Districts Drop Mask Mandates, End Legal Challenges

As the recent COVID wave in Florida recedes, all school districts that previously enforced mask mandates in Florida have dropped their masks requirements.  In addition, a number of school districts that chose to challenge the Department of Health (DOH) rule that banned mask mandates have decided to end their legal challenges to the rule.

Back in October, the Leon County School District – home to the state capitol –  ended a mask mandate policy with a parental opt-out provision. The decision came after the district was found to be violating the DOH rule.

Following the Leon County decision, the Broward County School District voted to remove its mask mandates for all school levels effective November 20th.

Read More