Los Angeles County reinstated its indoor mask mandate this weekend as confirmed cases of the Delta variant rise on the one-year anniversary of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order that closed down many schools.
The mask mandate went into effect at 11:59 pm on Saturday.
On July 17, 2020, Newsom issued guidance for school reopenings during the pandemic, which stated that in-person learning would only be allowed if a number of criteria were met. At the time, the vast majority of the state’s public and private k-12 schools did not meet the measures that would have allowed in-person instruction to resume.
Critics of school closures noted that many families rely on the support provided by schools, including working parents. There have also been concerns about disruptions to social development and children falling behind their school curriculums.
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In a Twitter post, Reopen California Schools said on Sunday that Newsom’s decision would go down as “one of the darkest times in California and U.S. history” as special interests were taken into consideration over children.
Republican assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who is one of the candidates running in the recall election to replace Newsom in September, said Newsom’s shutdown order did a lot of harm.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find any action by any governor that did more harm or for worse reasons,” he said.
A spokesperson for Newsom did not return Fox News’ request for comment about the renewed criticism.
Closing schools was intended as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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As previously reported by Fox News, Los Angeles County officials announced last week that they would revive a mandate requiring masks to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status due to a “rapid rise” in Delta variant cases.
About 4 million residents in Los Angeles are not vaccinated.
California dropped its statewide mask mandate in June as the state fully reopened.
According to county data, the 7-day daily average positivity rate is 3.17%. About 1,635 new cases were reported as of Sunday.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that confirmed cases throughout the U.S. are on the rise as well. The most recent seven-day moving average of daily new cases is 26,306, which marks a 69.3% increase when compared with the previous 7-day moving average (15,541).
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