The U.S. has extended its face mask requirement to planes, trains, and buses
Though COVID-19 cases continue to remain low, there is no longer a requirement for people to wear masks on public transportation. U.S. health officials have extended the deadline that was set to expire today by two more weeks.
A new order was made earlier today that will prevent travelers from carrying the deadly virus on planes, trains, buses, boats, and other modes of transport. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an order that it will remain in effect until May 3rd while they monitor the deadly virus.
“In order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and overall health system capacity, the CDC order will remain in place at this time,” the agency said.
Mandatory wearing of face masks during the pandemic is one measure that has been widely criticized.
California had its mandatory mask law repealed last month! Schools and public places no longer have to be as restrictive in decorum as they once were when it comes to masks.
The new state ban on these requirements has been met with widespread support. Most counties have followed suit and school districts are now prohibited from enforcing any mandate for these documents.
COVID-19 is an update to CDC community-level metrics meaning 96% of counties are at green “low” levels nationwide. Daily cases of COVID-19 are continuing to fall nationwide and this number has been at 24,815 since March 29. This is a level not seen in the Delta since July last year, before summer waves of variant outbreaks.
But the CDC noted this week that just since early April, increases have been noted in the number of flu cases, reaching 30,496 cases as of April 11. Residential emergency leave filings have increased sharply in the Northeast of the US. This is due to changes in New York and New Jersey’s laws. Interestingly, CA has seen an uptick too despite claims that the number of opioid deaths has started to increase again.
The BA.2 omicron subvariant helped drive significant case increases across Europe and Asia last month, though that also coincided in many cases with the relaxation of public health measures.
The CDC has updated the Travel Health Notice system to provide more detailed data about when an international destination poses a threat to travelers. This update is for travelers around the world who visit these destinations.
The new computer system will prevent mass numbers of travelers from receiving Level 4 travel health notices. The system has been implemented in order to provide more time to solve emerging potential problems. The levels will be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts in countries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that it’s extending the time frame for the popular mask mandate. The new requirement is more flexible & not as tightly regulated.
Stacey Hendler Ross is a spokesperson for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and said they have been compliant on their light rail and bus routes where they have extra masks available.
“People are using them for the most part,” Ross said. “For the most part, we haven’t had any trouble at all, so it’s not really been too much of a problem. It’s almost become a way of life.”
The order applying to all US-bound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia did not get the favorable reaction it was hoping for. However, lots of people were glad it had been extended for more specific reasons.
“I love the masks!” Former journalist Anne Cummings of Saratoga expressed joy at arriving in San Jose yesterday, having just visited family in the States. If you travel, you know how difficult it can be to avoid airborne germs. Airplanes are particularly immune to such infections and because of this, wearing an N95 is invaluable.
I was just thinking about how this journey was going to end because I don’t have a mask.
“I think we could see some changes in the near future,” he said. “In a few years, I imagine there won’t be any diseases that are too far gone to recover. It’s hard to look into the future, but many companies and individuals have been making radical leaps with COVID treatments.”