Are masks coming back? Big cities look to masks again to combat winter threat of Covid, flu, and RSV

The following is an excerpt from Fox News via AOL.

With the beginning of winter roughly a week away, major cities across the U.S. are looking to mask up once again for the purpose of combating not just Covid-19, but the flu and the respiratory illness RSV.

Philadelphia has imposed a temporary mask mandate for students and school staff when they come back from winter break in January.

For two weeks, they will be required to wear face coverings, Superintendent Tony Watlington announced Wednesday.

“Many of us will be involved in quite a few social gatherings over the next few weeks,” Watlington explained at a news conference, as reported by local WHYY.

Watlington called the move a “proactive measure” to prevent the spread of illnesses.

The decision mirrors how the school year began, with two weeks of masking that began in August.

In Boston, some parents want schools to bring back school mask mandates when students return after winter break.

The organization BPS Families for Covid Safety wants 10 days of masking and increased Covid-19 testing.

They presented a petition to school headquarters Wednesday with almost 200 signatures, according to NBC Boston. Boston Public Schools has not made any decision yet.

In California, Los Angeles County officials have stopped short of requiring masks for everyone, but they are recommending that everyone from the age of 2 and older wear masks indoors again. 

While the county is not requiring masks, a future mandate has not been ruled out, but it also is not being viewed as an inevitability.

New York City officials are also strongly recommending masks this winter.

The city’s Department of Health issued an advisory last week urging residents to wear a mask in certain situations amid “high levels of Covid-19, flu and RSV.”

In a Friday press release, the New York City Department of Heath said that “high-quality masks” should be worn when “indoors and in crowded outdoor settings.”

The advisory states that “everyone should wear a mask” when “in an indoor public setting, including inside stores, offices, lobbies, hallways, elevators, public transportation, schools, child care facilities, and other public shared spaces. (Continued…)

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