Amid rising COVID-19 cases, a new poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports shows 76 percent of Democrats support a mask mandate, an increase from a 2022 poll.
According to the new poll, taken between September 6-7 and 10 that surveyed 1,091 American adults conducted over the phone and online, 76 percent of Democrats support a mask mandate, compared to 33 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of the unaffiliated. This is an increase for Democrats compared to a Rasmussen Report poll in April 2022 that showed 51 percent of Democrats thought ending the mask mandate was a bad idea, while 72 percent of Republicans believe it was a good decision.
Although the last statewide order broadly requiring people to wear masks in indoor public places ended in early 2022. Several state and local governments continued to mandate face-covering in high-risk settings such as health care and long-term care facilities into 2023.
A signboard reminds people of the face covering requirement as pedestrians wear face masks due to the coronavirus in Los Angeles, California on November 12, 2020. According to a new poll, 76 percent of Democrats support mask mandates, an increase from 2022.
In February, The New York State Department of Health ended the use of masks and face coverings in healthcare facilities, while mandates covering public transit, homeless shelters and correctional facilities ended September 7.
In addition, many other states that previously implemented similar policies have now dropped the mandates and have directed healthcare workers to follow CDC recommendations on mask use in medical settings and nursing homes.
While mask mandates have now been left to the public to decide, healthcare company Kaiser Permanente reinstated a mask mandate at its California facilities after an uptick in patients testing positive.
The continuous changes in mask mandates come after new COVID-19 hospitalizations have recently increased in some states prompting medical centers in New York and California to announce a return to masking requirements.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates a weekly tracking map to show where COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are currently rising.
As public health officials have their eye on two new variants, the Omicron variant EG.5—nicknamed Eris—and BA.2.86, the CDC has not announced new mask mandates, however, it continues to recommend masks as a critical tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, others have been pushing back on mask mandates insisting masks are not needed anymore.
Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio is one of many conservatives pushing back as he unveiled earlier this month the “Freedom to Breathe Act,” a bill that would block the federal government from imposing mask mandates for domestic flights, public transit and schools.