Preference cascade claims New Jersey and Massachusetts; Pennsylvania and California have June dates slated for end of mask mandates.
As the number of COVID cases nosedives, the preference cascade for mask-free personal liberty continues to sweep the nation.
Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows that the average daily Covid case counts in the U.S. are at less than half of the level recorded at the start of May.
The country is seeing an average of 23,407 new infections per day over the past week, down from about 49,600 on May 1, a 53% drop.
Federal data shows the U.S. is reporting an average of 1.7 million daily vaccinations, and nearly 50% of the U.S. population has received one dose or more.
The seven-day average of daily U.S. Covid cases is 23,407 as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins data, down 23% from a week ago and 53% from the start of the month.
Public health professionals assert that some areas of this country are on the cusp of herd immunity.
Susan Hassig, an epidemiology professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, pointed to states in the Northeast as “places where we are very, very close [to herd immunity]…because we see very few cases and hospitalizations occurring there.”
Connecticut, for example, reported only 88 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and seven hospitalizations. Massachusetts reported 211 new cases and 253 hospitalizations. The states have fully vaccinated 52% and 51% of their entire population, respectively.
The percentage of immunity in those states increases when the number of COVID-19 infections is included: 339,100 in Connecticut and 660,298 in Massachusetts. However, it is not a simple matter of adding the confirmed number of cases. The actual number of cases are likely two to four times higher given the number of people with asymptomatic infections or mild symptoms who were never tested. There is also some overlap among people who have been infected and vaccinated.
Assuming that actual cases are three times higher than confirmed cases and that half of those have also been vaccinated, about 66% of the population in Connecticut may be immune and 65% in Massachusetts.
Legal Insurrection readers will note that the reproduction number, which I have been following as my marker as to when the pandemic should be declared at an end, has now been below one nationally for six weeks.
Finally, some blue states are relenting on their ponderous pandemic policies that include social distancing and masks, masks, masks.
New Jersey has just lifted its mask mandate under most circumstances.
Starting today — for the first time in 14 months — New Jerseyans will be allowed to go into restaurants, stores and other public places without the government requiring that they wear a mask to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed an order on Monday that drops the NJ mask mandate, one of the biggest steps toward a return to normalcy.
Massachusetts is ending all COVID-19 restrictions.
All COVID-19 restrictions in Massachusetts, including the mask mandate, will be lifted Saturday — just in time for Memorial Day weekend — as state enters what officials call a “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This means, effective at midnight, all businesses will be able to reopen without restrictions and the face covering order will be replaced by the CDC’s new guidance over the holiday weekend and beyond.
Pennsylvania will end its mask mandate June 28.
The mask order will be lifted by June 28, or when 70% of adults are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first, announced state Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam during a news conference Thursday.
It comes a day after the state hit a milestone of 70% of adults getting at least one dose of the vaccine. About 53% of Pennsylvanians 18 and older are fully vaccinated, as of Thursday.
My home state of California will jettison the mask mandates along with other COVID-restricitions on June 15th.DONATE
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