Coronavirus tally: Handful of U.S. states plan to end face mask mandates for students in the near term


A handful of U.S. states are planning to end face mask mandates for students and school employees or for indoor public spaces in the near term, as governors seek to restore some element of normalcy after two years of a pandemic. New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy announced school mandates will end the second week of March. That announcement was followed by similar moves from leaders in California, Connecticut, Delaware and Oregon, the New York Times reported.
The news comes as the U.S. is still averaging close to 2,600 COVID deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, up 25% from two weeks ago and the highest toll since last winter before vaccines were widely available. Cases have fallen steeply from their January peak, however, and are averaging 253,782a day, down 62% from two weeks ago. Hospitalizations are down 27% from two weeks ago at 115,164 a day on average.
On a global basis, the total tally for COVID-19 cases hiked up above 397.8 million, and the death toll rose above 5.75 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with a total COVID-19 case count of 76.8 million and death toll of 905,544.

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