As worries over COVID-19 are revived, more institutions have begun demanding that people wear masks.
Notably, major medical organizations have announced a return to COVID-era rules and internal mandates, reported Fox News.
United Health Services in New York revealed that several of its key hospitals will again require masks.
“The new policy is in effect immediately for all patients, visitors, employees, medical staff, volunteers, students and vendors,” a statement said.
On the other side of the country, the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center in California similarly stated, “To ensure that we are helping protect the health and safety of our patients, our workforce and our community, we have reintroduced a mask mandate.”
In Texas, despite laws and executive orders preventing government institutions from mandating masks or vaccines, private entities and businesses can still compel people to wear masks or receive vaccinations before providing services.
As reported by The Dallas Express, a pediatric clinic near Dallas threatened to call child protective services on a mother after she initially declined to wear a mask or make her small children do so. After being told the clinic would summon authorities in a bid to have her kids taken away, she complied.
Additionally, Runge ISD in South Texas announced it would temporarily close due to COVID concerns.
Some Texas leaders, such as Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) and Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian), have called on Gov. Greg Abbott to enable the Legislature to address these issues in a special session, per The Dallas Express.
“It is UNACCEPTABLE that Texas has not banned vaccine mandates, and we MUST GET IT DONE in a special session!” Schatzline said.
Michelle Evans, the founder of Texans for Vaccine Choice, echoed his sentiment, urging, “We need medical liberty on the next special session call in October to protect All Texans from mandates.”
However, some health experts claim these mask and vaccine requirements are necessary for public health.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University and director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, previously shared his perspective on the issue in Scientific American.
“These edicts restrict private businesses, schools and [Institutions of Higher Education] from asking for proof of vaccination. COVID-19 has been politicized like no virus before … states previously acted to enhance public health powers,” he said.
“No one has the right to go into a crowded classroom or workplace unmasked and unvaccinated,” he asserted.
President Joe Biden and his administration have also begun urging Americans to resume getting vaccinations as large pharmaceutical companies roll out updated shots, as reported by The Dallas Express.