Roughly 1,000 schools nationwide have already shut down in-person classes at some point for the fall semester amid surges in COVID-19 cases and battles over mask mandates, according to a data tracker.

The building closures throughout 35 states have lasted from a day to several weeks, USA Today reported, citing New York-based data service Burbio.

Requirements to wear masks in public or get vaccinated have become hot-button issues in the culture wars over the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in public schools.

Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for universal mask-wearing in classrooms, some Republican governors argue that it’s a personal decision and that parents should make the choice for their children, going as far as blocking state funds from school districts with mask mandates.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education said last week it will investigate whether five Republican-led states that banned mask mandates in schools have violated students’ rights by doing so.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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