A Catholic school in Michigan is suing the state, arguing that its previous mask mandate violated religious freedom by covering up “God’s image and likeness.”
The Resurrection School in Lansing filed a masking lawsuit in October when Michigan required that students and teachers wear masks. The mandate has since been revoked, but the school’s pastor, Rev. Steve Mattison, said they are going to the appeals court to prevent the state from reintroducing the rule.
On Wednesday, a federal appeals judge heard the Resurrection School’s argument to ban mask mandates.
“Every human being has dignity and is made in God’s image and likeness,” the schools argued. “Unfortunately, a mask protects our humanity.”
Pastor Steve Mattison, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in Michigan, says masks hinder students’ education. An appeal filed by the Catholic School of the Church to block state mask mandates was heard on Wednesday
Lansing school (pictured) says masks block God’s image by obscuring the face, and says they hinder religious education
Mattison said there were no reports of coronavirus transmission at school, despite students from kindergarten through fifth grade at Resurrection School (pictured) never wearing masks during the past school year
The Resurrection School also claimed that masks make people antisocial and interfere with Catholic education and practices, such as asking for forgiveness, which it says requires a personal apology.
“As the Catholic faith teaches, we are relational beings,” the suit reads. And our existence as relational beings refers to the Holy Trinity. A mask disrupts this essential element of the Catholic faith, and for these and other reasons it disrupts the teaching of young children.’
In addition, two parents from the school who joined the suit claim that their children have trouble breathing while wearing masks.
Pastor Steve Mattson, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, argued that masks hinder social interactions and disrupt learning.
“Teaching is a relationship between individuals, and we know that non-verbal interaction is very powerful,” he said WILX on Tuesday.
The Delta variant now makes up 83% of all new infections
The call comes as new coronavirus infections emerge across the country, mainly driven by the highly contagious Indian delta variant
Deaths have remained relatively stable with 397 recorded on Wednesday and a 7-day moving average of 249
He said there were no reports of coronavirus transmission at school, despite students from kindergarten through fifth grade never wearing masks during the past school year, the station reported.
The school first filed suit in October, when Michigan required that students and teachers wear masks, and in December, the school denied a request for a preliminary injunction to end enforcement of the state’s mask mandate for private school students. . It started an appeal process two days later, Washington Post reported.
Michigan ended most of its Covid restrictions in June, and Ingham County Health official Linda Veil argued Monday in response to the lawsuit that there are no plans to bring them back.
However, Mattson said he is skeptical.
The school initially filed suit in October when Michigan’s mask mandates were in effect, but a preliminary injunction to terminate them in the state was denied
“We know this can be fixed at any time and we want to make sure we can take care of it,” he told WILX.
The call came as coronavirus positivity rates have surged from a June low in recent weeks, notably a return to mask-wearing in California.
More than half of Californians are being urged to wear masks indoors – regardless of vaccination status – as the Indian ‘Delta’ Covid variant continues to ravage the US.
At least 17 counties in the Golden State — home to 56 percent of residents — are asking people to wear face coverings in places like grocery stores and movie theaters, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Only one of those counties, Los Angeles County, requires masks to be worn in these public institutions.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned on Tuesday that she could do the same if the number of infections in the city continues to rise.
Every state – except Iowa – and the Coluimbia district report an increase in COVID-19 cases this week
It comes as the US registered 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day moving average of 37,056, up 244 percent from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago.
Every state except Iowa has seen infections rise or steady in the past week, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins data from DailyMail.com.
In addition, 298 COVID-19 deaths were recorded on Tuesday with a seven-day moving average of 274.
The number of fatalities, a lagging indicator, has not increased dramatically, but has instead increased slightly by 6.6 percent from the average of 257 recorded three weeks earlier.
Health officials say this is because people are now protected by vaccines, although in states that use fewer vaccines — such as Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee — hospitals are filling up.
California has seen the number of cases rise to an average of 5,063 per day, a 160% increase from 1,946 just two weeks ago, leading many counties to call for masks to be made mandatory.
Over the same period, COVID-19 hospitalizations rose from 1,506 to 2,447, a 62% increase, according to state data, the highest since at least March.
The rise is attributed to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for 83.2 percent of all new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Health officials say nearly all new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are among unvaccinated individuals.
“Don’t be fooled, ‘I’ve come this far and I’m fine,'” Dr Gregory Poland, an internist and head of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, told CBS Minnesota.
‘This is a very different variant. It will find you. This virus will find anyone who is not immune.”
In light of the mounting cases, the US Department of Homeland Security has announced that the land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed for non-essential travel until at least August 21.
Last week, Los Angeles County became the first in the country to require all residents to wear masks, whether or not they were fully vaccinated.
The county reports about 13.5 cases per 100,000, and the test positivity rate has risen from 0.4 percent on June 15, when the state reopened, to 4.8 percent as of Tuesday.