Commuters and flyers -- keep those masks on: CDC extends travel mask requirement through May 3
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended its mask mandate on public transit and airplanes through next month.
The mandate was extended 15 more days through May 3. The order originally was set to expire on April 18. The BA.2 variant of COVID-19 can be blamed for this.
It doesn't make a difference to some riders. A majority who spoke with News 12 didn't even know the mandate was set to expire Monday. Still, others think it should have expired months ago.
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"You know, I don't think we're out of this thing yet,” says Jorge Blanco.
Blanco had COVID-19 two weeks ago and doesn't want to have it again, so keeping the mask on was fine with him. Theresa Campbell is a tech at Overlook Hospital and is already conditioned to it.
"People still feel a little nervous when they hear somebody cough in public, so why not have it still in restaurants and theaters and everything like that? Because you know a common cold right now could be considered COVID,” says Campbell.
But some disagree with extending the mandate, even if the CDC extended it 15 days because of the spike in BA.2. subvariant cases.
“I think if we're not required to wear masks in restaurants then why in public transit?” says Kaela Kennedy, of Summit.
The CDC says it needs more time to assess what comes with the variant, such as how severe the disease and hospitalizations are associated with it. Currently, the BA.2 variant makes up for 85% of the country's COVID-19 cases.
Those against extending the mandate also say it'll cause more fights against transit workers, something Jesus Candia, of Summit, has seen. He and most others don't mind masking up for a little longer.
"Now you got to get off at the next station, and I'm just like, 'Put your mask on, get on with it, I have things to do,'” says Candia.
Cases aren't where they were back in December and January, but they have been going up in recent weeks.