Atlanta College Confirms Temporary COVID Mask Mandate Has Ended


The Atlanta college that reinstated its mask mandate in August confirmed that it has ended the rule after two weeks.

Morris Brown College, described as a historically black liberal arts college, stated in mid-August that it would reimpose mask mandates amid what it said was a rise in COVID-19 cases on campuses near where it’s located. That rule was scheduled to end on Sept. 3.

In a statement to Newsweek, college President Kevin James confirmed that the rule had ended. However, the school will still “have several safety protocols in place,” he said.

Parties and large events will still be banned from the campus, the official said in a letter, according to the outlet. The letter states that employees and students will have to undergo temperature checks before coming to the campus and maintain physical distancing, while people who test positive for COVID-19 have to isolate for five days.

The college’s move to reinstate the mask mandate several weeks ago came as multiple hospitals around the United States also reinstated the rule, coming more than three years after the start of the pandemic in the United States. A number of people on social media, including former President Donald Trump and others, criticized the decisions to reinstate mandates and said Americans shouldn’t comply if they’re broadly imposed again.

At the same time, some corporate media outlets interviewed doctors and health officials who suggested that Americans should start using masks again amid an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations. However, the number of hospitalizations is still far lower than previous increases in COVID-19 cases over the past several years.

“Americans have had enough COVID hysteria. We will not comply!” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in August.

“Hear these words: We will not comply. So don’t even think about it,” President Trump also said in a video, reacting to recent mandate reports. “We will not shut down our schools. We will not accept your lockdowns. We will not abide by your mask mandates and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates.”

Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake wrote “Amen, Mr. President. WE WILL NOT COMPLY” in a response post on X.

A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told The Epoch Times last week that currently, COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low in “97 percent of the country.” The agency also stated that it has had no talks about returning to mask-wearing.

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A former Trump official, Dr. Deborah Birx, who initially led the COVID-19 pandemic response for the federal government in 2020, suggested in an interview that mask mandates don’t need to return.

“We don’t need to mandate,” Dr. Birx told Newsmax on Sept. 2. “We need to actually empower people with the information that they need for themselves and their families because every family is different.

“And by the way, outside is safe, and playgrounds are safe.”

Another former federal official involved in the response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, also weighed in recently on mask mandates and whether masks actually work at preventing the transmission of COVID-19. The longtime former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who became a controversial pandemic figure, suggested that people should wear them again if cases reportedly rise.

“I would hope that if we get to the point that the volume of cases is such and organizations like the CDC recommends—CDC does not mandate anything—recommends that people wear masks, I would hope that people abide by that recommendation and take into account the risks to themselves and their families,” Dr. Fauci told CNN over the recent weekend.

Those suggestions to wear masks come after hundreds of studies over the years have suggested that masking may not be effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. A recent paper produced by Korean scientists found that masks also emit substances such as volatile organic compounds that can be harmful to people, and in some cases, the concentration was 22 to 147 times higher than normal.

Multiple hospitals in Upstate New York announced in August that masks will be mandatory for staff, as well as patients and visitors. They include United Health Services in Binghamton, Auburn Community Hospital in Auburn, University Hospital in Syracuse, and Samaritan Health facilities in Watertown.

A spokesperson with Samaritan Health, Leslie DiStefano, claimed that this is being done because “we know … that [masking]absolutely works.”

Auburn Community Hospital stated on Aug. 19, about a month after its previous mask mandate ended, that it would again be requiring masks on-site. That applies to anyone going inside the facility, regardless of vaccination status.

Also in mid-August, University Hospital reinstated masking for everyone entering the building. The hospital’s mandate had only been lifted a few months earlier, in late April.