Schools again mandate masks as new COVID variant takes hold


(NewsNation) — Some school districts in the U.S. are taking steps to combat a rise in respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, and reinstating mask mandates to start the new year.

Students in Philadelphia and Massachusetts are among those that will start the new year under a requirement to mask up in the classroom. The mandates are being put in place as a new COVID-19 variant, XBB.1.5, now accounts for 40.5% of cases in the U.S.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, says she’s surprised by the return to masking because the World Health Organization has said immunity is much better than three years ago and cases of severe disease remains low.

“If the WHO can say that for the entire planet, the U.S. choosing in some districts to mask the people who are least at risk of severe disease, who are children, really doesn’t make sense to me,” Gandhi said Wednesday on “Rush Hour.”

Watch her interview above.

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