Universities reinstate mask mandates amid COVID surge
Universities nationwide are reinstating mask mandates amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Driving the news: The University of Connecticut announced on April 15 that it was reinstating its masking requirements for "all indoor instructional settings, workspaces, and indoor events exceeding 100 individuals" amid a rise in cases. The new rules went into effect on Monday, April 18.
- American University announced last week it would reinstate its mask mandate in all Washington, D.C., campus buildings starting April 12.
- It joined Columbia, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and Rice universities, which have also recently reinstated mask policies, according to the New York Times.
The big picture: The highly transmissible BA.2 subvariant of Omicron has sparked concerns about a possible surge.
- An average of more than 31,000 new COVID cases across the country were detected as of Sunday, per the Times.
- The new wave of university mask mandates comes after several prominent Washington officials tested positive after the Gridiron dinner last week.
But, but, but: A federal judge on Monday struck down the Biden administration's rule mandating masks on planes, trains and other forms of public transportation.
- Shortly thereafter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would stop enforcing the rule.
- The four largest airlines in the U.S. as well as a slate of companies — including Uber, Lyft and Amtrak — have dropped their masking requirements in response to the ruling.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.