Hawaii becomes only US state sticking to mask mandate

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Hawaii is the only remaining US state sticking with an indoor mask mandate as Covid-19 cases continued to decline across the country, a media report said.

Hawaii, which has had the country’s fewest cases per capita over the course of the pandemic, has seen its daily average of new cases plummet about 70 per cent over the past two weeks, Xinhua news agency quoted The New York Times report on Tuesday as saying.

As of Wednesday morning, Hawaii’s overall Covid-19 caseload and death toll stood at 234,701 and 1,304, respectively.

“I am working with the Department of Health to determine when the time is right for Hawaii to lift the indoor mask mandate,” Governor David Ige told the local media on Tuesday.

“Hawaii ranks second (to the last) in the nation when it comes to Covid deaths, in part because of the indoor mask requirement and other measures that have proven successful in protecting our community from this potentially deadly virus,” he added.

States across the US have moved to end masking requirements as cases of Covid-19 continue to drop.

Some Governors have ended universal indoor and outdoor masking mandates, while others have lifted statewide face covering requirements for schools.

In a statement, the Hawaii State Department of Education said there are no current plans to drop mask mandates in classrooms.

Three other states — California, Maryland and New York — as well as Washington, D.C., have also not announced end dates for their indoor school face covering mandates.

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