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While COVID-19 cases continue to fall across the country following a surge of the highly transmissible omicron variant, many states, localities and schools have decided to loosen pandemic restrictions.
On Wednesday, University of Wisconsin System officials said they are planning to end campus mask mandates by spring break.
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The group cited widespread vaccinations and waning case numbers across the state and on system campuses.
They will potentially withdraw mandates as soon as March 1.
School mask mandates will end on March 1, according to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, if the General Assembly adopts amendments made to just-passed legislation on the issue.
The bill – passed by the legislature on Monday – gives parents and students the ability to opt out of mandates imposed by local school boards.
However, the legislation would not have taken effect until July 1.
Youngkin added an emergency clause to the legislation allowing it to take effect immediately upon passage and added a provision giving school districts until March 1 to develop plans to comply with the law.
The amended legislation now must pass both legislative chambers again.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday that schools with a student vaccination rate of 80% or higher do not need to require masks.
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“Schools should know this is only the first step. In the very near future if all goes to plan, we intend to recommend lifting the mask requirement recommendation altogether,” he said.
The target was developed at the start of school year and is something that schools have had time to plan for as the Feb. 28 deadline approached
“Although we remain optimistic about the trends we’re seeing in Vermont, we’re not ready to jump to a recommendation of removal of masks altogether, but I expect that recommendation will be coming at some point,” Vermont Education Secretary Dan French said.
Several states across the U.S. have announced plans to lift mask requirements in schools and statewide. However, others have extended mask mandates.
In Nevada – where Gov. Steve Sisolak dropped a statewide requirement last week – some shed their masks, while others decidedly kept them on.
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“It could save somebody’s life,” Kelila Medina, 11, told the Reno Gazette Journal. “I can wear the mask for that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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