As COVID-19 restrictions continue to fade into the past in many parts of the country, some officials are keeping vaccine and mask mandates in place, flouting growing public opposition.
The Washington Examiner reports that unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving attended a game at the Barclays Center on Sunday to watch his team play.
Although New York City lifted its vaccine mandate for fans, Irving could not join his teammates on the court because of a vaccine requirement for arena workers.
It's just one of several, seemingly arbitrary, mandates still in effect that are confusing and angering people.
Vaccine and mask mandates will be kept in place on Broadway until at least April, even as the city continues to pivot back towards normal life, according to the Examiner.
In recent weeks, most cities, including New York City and Washington, D.C., have dropped their proof-of-vaccine requirements for indoor businesses; however, some, such as New Orleans, continue to require vaccine cards or a negative test to enter restaurants, gyms, and other indoor venues.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot lifted indoor mask mandates and proof-of-vaccine requirements for business patrons last month.
Unvaccinated Chicago police officers, firefighters, and other city workers, however, face suspension or termination if they are not vaccinated by March 13.
With roughly 12% of the city’s workforce unvaccinated ahead of the deadline, a dozen Chicago aldermen wrote to Lightfoot on Friday to ask her to reconsider the vaccine mandate.
"The city's pursuit of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the quality of life in our city," Silvana Tabares, an alderman in the 23rd Ward told ABC 7. "We want the mayor to take into account natural immunity for previous infection before she terminates or disciplines any city worker.
"Skyrocketing crime and criminals are emboldened than ever before, and residents in my ward do not want to see less police officers patrolling the neighborhoods."
ABC 7 reported that Lightfoot said Friday that city employees who remain unvaccinated will be suspended without pay until they comply.
In Seattle, calls to end the King County employee vaccine mandate began late last month, according to KIRO 7.
Seattle Councilman Reagan Dunn is among those seeking an end to the mandate, citing the shortage of county sheriff’s deputies as the main reason why it should be lifted.
"Forceful vaccine mandates that push deputies out of King County's workforce ultimately cause more harm than good," Dunn wrote in a Feb. 22 letter to the county executive. "Maybe it made sense months ago at the height of the delta wave or the top of the omicron wave, but it doesn’t make sense today."
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