Continue to wear a mask on planes, trains and public transport

Top officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reiterate their recommendation that Americans wear masks on planes, trains and buses, despite a court ruling in April that overturned a nationwide mask mandate in public transports.

“The CDC continues to recommend that all people – passengers and workers, properly wear a properly fitted mask or respirator on indoor public transit and transportation hubs to protect themselves and other travelers in these high-density environments. Population and Mixed Population”, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a press release. “We now have a range of tools we need to protect ourselves from the impact of COVID-19, including access to high-quality masks and respirators for everyone who needs them.”

The CDC recommends that anyone 2 years and older wear a mask on transportation as well as at airports and train stations. Properly wearing a properly fitted mask or respirator protects you and those around you, the CDC said.

“Wearing a properly fitted mask or respirator is more beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, such as airport walkways,” the CDC said in a press release. “We are also encouraging transit operators and transit hubs to support mask wearing by all people, including employees.”

For months, the Transportation Security Administration had enforced a requirement that passengers and workers wear masks. The government had extended the term several times, and the last was due to expire on May 3. But a federal judge in Florida overturned the rule on April 18. On the same day, the TSA said it would no longer enforce the warrant.

The CDC asked the Department of Justice to appeal the decision, which the department did. But the status of the call is unclear.

However, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the nation’s largest public transit system, is maintaining its mask-wearing mandate for now. The MTA runs New York’s subways and buses, the Staten Island Railway, the LIRR, and the Metro-North Railroad.

“[I]It is important for all of us to protect not only ourselves, but also to consider others at increased risk for severe COVID-19 and those who cannot yet be vaccinated,” Wallensky said. “Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces and transport settings will ensure the protection of the individual and the community. »

The CDC the website describes the differences between several types of masks and respirators and which are most effective at filtering out potential pathogens. A respirator provides better filtration than a mask. But both must be worn correctly.

“A mask or respirator will be less effective if it fits poorly or if you don’t wear it properly or remove it frequently,” the CDC says. “Whatever product you choose, it should provide a good fit (i.e. it hugs the face snugly without any gaps along the edges or around the nose) and be comfortable enough when worn. is worn properly (covering your nose and mouth) so you can keep it on when you need it.”

With the Associated Press.

Melvin Z. Madore