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Summer Schools Begin To Bring Back Mask Mandates In Big Cities

(Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Some school districts in major cities are bringing back mask mandates for children as summer school begins and COVID-19 cases tick up.

School districts in Pittsburgh, Sacramento and Philadelphia have added mask mandates for kids in the past month, according to The Wall Street Journal. The city of Berkeley, California, added a mandate as well, and the Parkway School District in St. Louis County, Missouri, said it may reimpose a mandate for summer school.

In January, a majority of school districts across the country had mask mandates in place, according to Arizona State’s Center for Reinventing Public Education. Now, the number is around 5%, although it’s increasing again.

Some districts have flip-flopped quickly. Philadelphia schools began a new requirement on May 23, after saying in April they had no plans to reinstitute a mandate, according to The WSJ. New York City, however, lifted its mask mandate for children under five years old this week after keeping it in place longer than any other major city. (RELATED: Biden’s DOJ Is Fighting To Force Americans To Mask Again)

COVID-19 cases are increasing across the country, particularly in some northeastern areas, but that hasn’t translated to a major surge in illness and death. Daily average cases have been back above 100,000 since mid-May, according to the CDC, while daily average deaths have continued to fluctuate around 300. Children continue to be at extremely low risk of severe illness or death.