In a statement released a day after a Florida judge concluded a mandate to cover face coverings on planes and trains and at transit hubs, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said. officials believe the federal mask order is “a valid act of Congress. The CDC has been given the CDC to protect public health.” He said it is “an important agency that the Department will continue to work on.” work for conservation.”
Coley said the CDC has said it will continue to assess public health conditions, and that if the agency determines a mandate is necessary for public health, the Justice Department will file an appeal.
In a new statement Tuesday night, the CDC remained uncommitted:
“CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in all indoor public transportation facilities. We will continue to assess the need for masks in those facilities, based on a number of factors, including including the US community level of COVID-19, the risk of prevalence, and the novelty of variants and trends in cases and severity of the disease.”
The federal judge’s ruling removed the last major vestige of federal pandemic rules and resulted in a jumble of locally created new rules that reflect the nation’s continued divisions. about how to fight the virus.
Major airlines and airports in places like Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City quickly switched to mask options. Los Angeles County dropped its public transit mandate, and a New Jersey train conductor told commuters about their masks Tuesday: “Feel free to burn them as you please.”
However, New York City, Chicago and Connecticut continue to require masks for tourists.
Ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber announced on their websites Tuesday that masks will now be optional when riding or driving.
Even Walt Disney World in Florida announced on Tuesday it was lifting mask requirements for monorails, buses and overhead gondolas.
For many, the news was welcomed. A video shows some passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight cheering and clapping as they removed their masks when it was announced that they were now optional. A man happily twirling the mask on his finger.
However, Brooke Tansley, a TV producer and former Broadway performer, was furious after boarding a flight with her 4-year-old and 8-month-old – underage to be vaccinated. – just to learn the mask ended mid-flight.
“Very angry about this,” she said in a tweet, noting that her child is too young to wear a mask.
President Joe Biden was flexible on Tuesday when asked if Americans should cover their faces on planes.
“It’s up to them,” Biden declared during a visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. But the White House continues to require face coverings for those traveling with him on Air Force One, citing CDC guidance.
In Portland, Oregon, transit workers immediately began taking down “masks required” notices and signs, but said it could take days to remove everything.
The city has joined Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Kansas City, Missouri, and Alaska’s two largest cities, Anchorage and Juneau, in making face coverings optional on public transit.
Some passengers at Chicago’s Union Station said the rules were confusing. Amtrak has dropped its claim. The Chicago Department of Transportation and Metra, the commuter rail service in the area, initially kept the request but dropped it late Tuesday.
“It’s like a patchwork of different rules and enforcement,” said Erik Abderhalden, who wore a mask as he waited for the Metra train to return home from the suburbs of Naperville. “I mean, it’s like swiss cheese… there’s no consistency and it sounds pretty similar to cheese.”
Subway rider Cooper Klinges is pleased that New York City’s public transit system isn’t trending and has planned to keep the mask requirement intact. While waiting at a train station in Brooklyn, he said he canceled a flight earlier this year because of concerns about the virus.
“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet,” said Klinges, a teacher. “It’s still around. We still have to keep trying.”
The CDC recently extended the mask rule, which was set to expire on Monday, until May 3 to give more time to study the subvariable, now responsible for the majority of cases. in the United States. But the court’s decision put that decision on hold.
After a winter spike fueled by the omicron variant that caused a record number of hospitalizations, the United States has seen a dramatic drop in the spread of the virus in recent months, leaving most States and cities waive mask-wearing regulations.
But several Northeast cities have seen an increase in hospitalizations in recent weeks, prompting Philadelphia to resume its mask-wearing mandate.
Hollingsworth reported from Mission, Kansas, and Crawford from Chicago. Associated Press writers David Koenig in Dallas, Michael Balsamo and Will Weissert in Washington and Karen Matthews in New York contributed to this report.
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https://abc7news.com/mask-mandate-masks-planes-airlines-covid-us/11768504/ Federal mask mandate: Justice Department appeals mask ruling for public transportation only if CDC says it’s still necessary