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Most Americans support state or local mask mandates, poll shows

Some parents worry Florida schools aren't doing enough to protect their kids from the coronavirus as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) doubles down on his mask mandate ban. (Video: Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post)
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As debate over public health mandates simmers across the country, new polling shows that nearly 2 in 3 Americans say they support their state or local government requiring masks in all public places to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Axios-Ipsos poll released Tuesday found that 64 percent of Americans overall favored such requirements, compared with 35 percent who said they were opposed. Support for masking was even stronger when it came to requiring face coverings at school. Pollsters found that 69 percent of Americans were supportive of requiring teachers, students and administrators to wear masks.

Nationwide, more than 900,000 new coronavirus cases were reported last week, the most in a single week since January, when infections were soaring and few Americans were vaccinated. The Biden administration is expected to announce that most vaccinated Americans will need coronavirus booster shots.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who has been in the spotlight for his attempts to stymie local governments and school districts from implementing mask mandates, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced Tuesday.
  • Florida education officials on Tuesday voted that two school districts violated state law by requiring students without medical exemptions to wear masks, escalating the fight between Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and local educators.
  • The Transportation Security Administration will extend a federal mask mandate for airline, bus and train passengers until Jan. 18, 2022.
  • Americans pulled back on purchases in July as the fast-spreading delta variant introduced a new level of uncertainty to an economy struggling against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Justice Department charged a Chicago pharmacist with selling vaccine cards online — an illegal scheme that law enforcement and health authorities worry will become more widespread.
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Here's what to know:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who has been in the spotlight for his attempts to stymie local governments and school districts from implementing mask mandates, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced Tuesday.
Florida education officials on Tuesday voted that two school districts violated state law by requiring students without medical exemptions to wear masks, escalating the fight between Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and local educators.
The Transportation Security Administration will extend a federal mask mandate for airline, bus and train passengers until Jan. 18, 2022.
Americans pulled back on purchases in July as the fast-spreading delta variant introduced a new level of uncertainty to an economy struggling against the coronavirus pandemic.
The Justice Department charged a Chicago pharmacist with selling vaccine cards online — an illegal scheme that law enforcement and health authorities worry will become more widespread.

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Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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