Across the United States, mask mandates are largely gone.
Even in many blue states, officials decided that it’s time to let people decide whether or not they want to mask up. After all, the absence of a mandate doesn’t prevent anyone who wants to wear a face covering from doing so.
Over a month ago, a federal judge struck down the mask mandate that Americans were subjected to when traveling. In airports and other travel hubs across the nation, large swaths of people are now breathing freely and without coverings on.
Yet, despite the widespread returns to normalcy, not every community is following this course.
As it turns out, Americans who find themselves in Alameda County, California will have to put their masks back on for the foreseeable future.
The Return of the Almighty Masks
According to officials in California, Alameda County is seeing rates of COVID that rival documented case numbers back in summer 2021 when the delta variant first emerged.
For this reason, people in Alameda County are now required to wear their masks in virtually all indoor environments. According to the county’s Healthcare Services Agency, minority communities are bearing the brunt of these reported new surges.
Additional statements from Alameda County health officials argue that minority frontline workers are at higher risk of catching COVID now, due their inability to work remotely.
The officials therefore claim that mask mandates will slow the spread of the virus and promote widespread public safety.
Due to this mandate, travelers going through the Oakland International Airport will have to wear face coverings again. This mandate also covers rideshare services that are carried out in Alameda County.
At this time, healthcare officials have not given a date for when they plan to lift this edict.
Backlash From the General Public
Americans across the nation who’ve had their fill with mask mandates and government-imposed restrictions are weighing in with their thoughts on social media.
Some people argue that Alameda County, California’s decision to bring back mask mandates isn’t about health, but rather politics. There are also additional predictions that mask mandates will gradually return in other counties across the state.
Since the start of COVID, California maintained its reputation as a state with the strictest mandates in place. Coincidentally, California’s also seen high levels of residents leaving the state, so much so that it recently lost a seat in the US House of Representatives.