Majority of U.S. Parents Still Want Kids Masked Up in Schools: Poll

A new poll recently found that 73 percent of parents in the U.S. think that schools should continue to impose mask mandates among students and staff for as long as the COVID pandemic continues.

In addition to parents wanting to keep masks in schools, the poll results showed that 37 percent of non-parents share that same view, while 28 percent of parents don't think that school mask mandates should continue.

The results come as multiple states nationwide have begun relaxing their COVID-related restrictions in schools as cases wane down. New York, California, and Oregon have announced last month that they would end indoor mask policies.

The survey from market research company OnePoll asked 2,000 adults, including 1,000 parents and 1,000 non-parents, about school mask mandates.

The survey also showed that 66 percent of parents think lawmakers shouldn't determine whether mask mandates should be imposed. Additionally, 62 percent of respondents said that they are sometimes confused about COVID guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Meanwhile, 47 percent of all of the poll respondents said that they will continue to use face masks even after the pandemic ends compared to 65 percent who expressed their eagerness to stop using masks.

In February, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Oregon announced plans to end statewide school mask mandates by March as COVID cases subsided. Other states including New York, Maryland, Illinois, and California followed suit. However, school mask mandates will continue in Hawaii, according to CNET.

Earlier this month, New York City mayor Eric Adams announced the end of school mask mandates and proof of vaccination requirements for several indoor settings. However, masks are still required in schools among students younger than five years old.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced an end to the statewide school mask mandate, citing a drop in COVID cases.

Only 48 percent (240) of the country's top 500 school districts were expected to require masks as of February 27, according to policy tracker Burbio, while 48.6 percent opt for optional masks in schools.

"We expect that the number of mask-optional districts will accelerate in the coming weeks and we will [be] keeping it up to date in real time so it changes daily," Burbio's Dennis Roche, who has been tracking school COVID policies since the beginning of the academic year, said in a weekly update.

In February, experts warned against loosening school mask mandate policies. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, said that COVID infections are still high.

"We're not out of this," Feigl-Ding told Newsweek. "There's still so much COVID floating around."

Most  U.S. Parents want school mask mandate
A recent OnePoll survey showed that 73 percent of parents think that school mask mandates should continue. Above, students students are seen wearing masks and sitting behind barriers in a classroom on March 24, 2021 in Long Beach, California. Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images