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Republican Governors Erect New Barriers to COVID-19 Public Health Measures

HeadlineAug 17, 2021

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that all healthcare workers in the district must be at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September. New York’s outgoing Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a similar requirement.

In Florida, nearly 5,600 students and more than 300 employees of Hillsborough County Schools have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are currently in quarantine. Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has prohibited schools and local governments from ordering mask mandates.

In Tennessee, Republican Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday allowing any parent or guardian to opt out of mask requirements in school.

In Arizona, a judge in Maricopa County ruled Monday that Republican Governor Doug Ducey’s ban on mask mandates is not yet in effect. The ruling leaves the Phoenix school district’s mask requirements in place until at least September 29. Also on Monday, Governor Ducey ordered local governments not to create their own vaccine mandates.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on Monday broke from his Republican counterparts, saying school districts requiring masks are “making a wise decision when the facts warrant it.”

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