Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people in England will no longer be legally obliged to wear face masks indoors or in public places and to stand at a distance of at least a meter for a month. It confirmed plans to reopen the society amid rising cases of coronavirus. Wearing face masks remains compulsory in large shops, large administrative buildings, and on public transport.
Croatia, Slovenia, a country of about 2 million people, and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe have seen an increase in infections in the past week and are trying to stop the wave. In Slovenia, authorities reported 1,503 confirmed infections in 6,000 tests. The country has the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union with only 665,000 of its 7 million inhabitants vaccinated.
The virus has reached every corner of America, ravaging dense cities and rural counties in a wave that has spilled from region to region. In New York City alone, more than 28,000 people have died from the virus, one in 295. In the first known COVID-19 deaths, which occurred on February 6, 2020 in Santa Clara County, California, nearly 100,00 people died by the end of May.
It’s not that people in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa don’t know that they are among the states leading the country in new cases per capita. Wayne County, home to 6,400 people in South Dakota and South Iowa, has the highest diagnosis rate in the state, but public health official Shelley Bickel says wearing masks is rare there. She finds it appalling to see older people, who are at greater risk, shopping in grocery stores like this.
The CDC continues to recommend indoor masks in public places such as hair salons, restaurants, malls, gyms, museums and movie theaters – saying that they are safe – except for people who have been vaccinated. Jenna Lovaas, Health Director for Jones County, Iowa, said her district is among the states with the highest cases because some people choose not to change, such as by protecting themselves or others with masks. She said the CDC’s guidelines are a model for states to set their requirements for wearing masks.
For example, the British Government advises that people should wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where social dissociation is not possible, such as on public transport. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a mask to slow the spread of the virus in places where social isolation is not possible, such as stores. Both the US government and the CDC support simple face coverings made of fabric but say surgical masks should be reserved for health workers.
They also go to small outdoor gatherings without masks and vaccinate people. Laboratory studies have shown that face masks can reduce the number of viruses detectable in a wearer’s breathing air. However, later studies have shown that wearing a mask does not affect the risk of infection of the user. To find out more, Boston scientists sent surveys to hundreds of thousands of people in the US between June 3 and July 27, 2020, when it became mandatory to wear masks in 12 states. Results showed that more than four out of five (84%) participants were more likely to wear a face mask in the supermarket and two out of five (40%) during visitation with family and friends. Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital linked the results of surveys of more than 300,000 people to a model to estimate viral transmission.
Modeled estimates of viral transmission suggest that combined with social distancing, a 10% increase in self-reported mask wearers more than triples the likelihood of keeping R away from each other. These changes come as more than half of the Americans – 140 million people – have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than a third have been vaccinated.
Walensky said the decision was driven by rising vaccination rates and a decline in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Studies show that fewer than 10% of the documented cases of transmission of the virus happened. The decision was welcomed by Dr. Mike Saag, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr Hilary Jones told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the UK government was putting too much faith in its coronavirus vaccination program. We want more jobs in people’s arms, we have 4.5 million adults who have received the first dose and 3.3 million with the second. Dr. Hilary Jones added that she expects 50,000 new cases of Covid in the UK in the coming days. On Monday night, Boris Johnson outlined the UK government’s move to lift a series of restrictions on July 19.
Moreover, the use of face masks has become a political battleground with vocal right-wing advocates condemning the wearing of masks as an infringement of freedom and suggesting that elements of a broader conspiracy against COVID-19 have been mobilized and fabricated. Research has shown that significant changes to official guidelines can reduce people’s confidence in science as the basis of policy. In this context, some have suggested that face masks pose a threat to public health, provided that they reduce the amount of oxygen inhaled and increase the amount of carbon dioxide inhaled.