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Covid-19 Masks Optional in the USA. Should people cheer or fear?

Masks optional in the USA

April 22, 2022. | 5 Minutes Read.

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This week’s relaxation of mask requirements for airplanes and, in many parts of the country, public transportation represents a critical turning point in the US pandemic response.

 Avoiding or eliminating Covid-19 infection appears to be a personal rather than a community-wide endeavor. Wearing Covid-19 masks optional in the US now, Should people feel cheer or fear?

For some, this is a cheer return to normalcy, while for others, it is a source of fear and perplexity. Many people find themselves in an uneasy middle ground between not wanting to give up and wanting to be free of some constraints. 

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 42% of adults in the United States have returned to some, but not all, of their pre-pandemic activities.


CDC Dropped the Do not travel countries list, Law made wearing masks optional

CDC dropped 89 nations from its “Do Not Travel” list on Monday. The highest Level 4 designation will now be held for “exceptional conditions,” such as a worrisome increase in COVID-19 cases, the emergence of new variants, or the breakdown of healthcare infrastructure. 

So what does it says? please comment your thoughts in the comments section.  

Mask mandate requirement was struck down by a federal judge in Tampa, Florida, on Monday, who ruled that the CDC overstepped its power when it enacted the mandate. 

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that it will appeal a court decision that struck down the federal government’s travel mask mandate, but only if the CDC concludes that the rule is still necessary to protect public health.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration appealed a Florida decision that struck down a federal mask requirement for flights, trains, and other types of public transportation.

Before the mask mandate rule was struck down, the CDC had extended the requirement for masks to be worn on public transportation, planes, trains, and within airports until May 3.

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Should I wear a mask or not? What did Experts say?

CDC continues to advise people to use masks in all indoor public transit situations, according to a statement made on April 20, 2022, “Wearing masks is most beneficial in crowded or poorly ventilated locations, such as the transportation corridor. When people wear a well-fitting mask or respirator over their nose and mouth in indoor travel or public transportation settings, they protect themselves, and those around them, including those who are immunocompromised or not yet vaccine-eligible, and help keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone.”

Dr. Stuart Ray, a medical professor at Johns Hopkins University, said, “As long as infection rates seem to be rising, I think it’s wise to think about protecting yourself even if you don’t have special vulnerability,” 

Even if no one else is wearing a mask, such as an N95 or KN95, anyone worried about catching Covid can still protect themselves, according to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who spoke to CNBC on Wednesday.

According to Dr.Fauci, who spoke to the Nashville Tennessean, about the CDC’s extension of the mask mandate up to May 3, 2022, said, “wanted to see what the pattern of infection is during this bit of a surge we’re seeing [in parts of the country].”

According to Han Kim, a professor of public health at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, “the increase in cases in some parts of the country is enough reason to continue wearing a mask.”

Covid -19 current trend in the USA

According to Statista, Overall Covid-19 cases in Europe are downtrend in the month of April 2022. 

What are the Variants currently circulating in the US? BA.2 is still active, albeit it has lost some ground, what it had two weeks before. It was responsible for 74% of Covid-19 cases last week, Texas has reported more BA.2 cases.

BA.2 has 21 viral offspring, according to global variant trackers. The majority of these appear to be underachievers with minor alterations. However, two of these variants, BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.12, have been linked to an increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in central New York. BA.2.12.1, for example, is surpassing BA.2 in other locations. According to CDC’s data, BA.2.12 variants are now responsible for 19% of infections in the USA.

Variant BA.1.1 reason for 6.1% cases. CDC classified BA.2, BA.2.12, and BA.1.1 variants under Variant of Concern. 

If we look into the weekly average cases of covid-19 infection, the uptick in trend every week, April first week average 26996 cases, second week 35800, and third week 42604 cases reported. 

However, hospital admission does not increase, when we compared the first week’s admissions with the second and third weeks. The first week was 0.45% and the third week was 0.48%.

How do I feel as it’s just a confusing phase, people should think clearly, must be up to date on their vaccines, and personally, I too recommend wearing a mask indoors and on public transportation. 

Someone may object to my personal opinion, but when I want to give up on some protection, I will ask myself, “Is this risk worthy of my life?”, please ask this same question to yourself when you don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t feel like wearing a mask. However, finally, it’s up to you.

Where do you still need to wear the Covid-19 face mask?

The mask mandate remains in effect for all buses, subway trains, and rail lines in New York City, including the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, according to the city’s public transportation system.

Face coverings are still required on public transportation in Portland, Seattle, and Chicago. Masks are required inside most Broadway theatres until at least May 31.

Both Uber and Lyft have stated that municipal legislation takes precedence over their own, implying that both drivers and riders in the city must wear face covers. If you live somewhere other than New York, check your local laws before getting in a car.

Hawaii state’s mask requirement is still in effect at public schools and will be until May 27.

Individual companies, including airlines and other forms of public transportation, are now responsible for establishing and implementing their own policy regarding facial coverings across most of the country. Before showing up at a company’s front door without a mask, check the company’s specific policy.

Mask mandates in public schools in the US are now generally determined on a district-by-district basis. Before you go any further, double-check the policies of your local school system.

Under a new COVID-19 health directive that goes into effect on Friday, April 22, masks will once again be required on all public transportation in Los Angeles County, including buses, trains, taxis, and ride-hailing service vehicles.

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CDC's Community Level Masking Guidelines

Based on the agency’s assessments of transmission and risk levels, the CDC presently advises varying mask-wearing guidelines for different communities across the country. 

According to the CDC, if you live in a low-risk location, 

Wear a mask according to your personal preference and risk level.

Immunocompromised people should wear masks indoors in medium-risk communities.  

Everyone should take precautions in high-risk communities, regardless of immunization status or individual risk, and wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public.

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What are the new regulations for flying wearing masks in the US?

Following the recent legal judgment, most major US airlines have made wearing masks optional, while some have stated that face coverings may be necessary when traveling to or arriving at specific destinations.

The government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that mask-wearing would not be enforced on public transportation or hubs as a result of the new ruling.

Experts worry about the safety of the Immunocompromised people traveling by air, for hours without wearing masks, they advise Immunocompromised people to take protective action before traveling on any public transportation.

Relates to Covid-19, a lot happened this week in the US, right? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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