CDC to Extend Mask Mandate for Another Two Weeks
The White House plans to extend the nationwide mask requirement for public transit for another two weeks. The CDC is expected to make the announcement today as it tracks a recent spike of COVID-19 cases. The information comes from a person familiar with the matter, as reported by AP.
The mandate requires masks on public transportation such as planes, trains, buses, as well as in hubs like airports and bus terminals. It is currently set to expire on April 18, and will now extend through May 3, 2022. White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said earlier this week that the CDC planned to share a scientific framework for the federal transportation mask mandate. He also added that an extension was very much on the table.
The goal of the extension, which is only two weeks instead of a full month, is to gather more information and understanding of the BA.2 variant of the coronavirus. The US is now averaging 38,345 new Covid-19 cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Cases are trending up in more than half of states. But the daily rate is still one of the lowest since mid-July and we haven’t seen a big spike in hospitalizations or deaths. According to the latest estimates from the CDC, BA.2 caused 86% of new Covid-19 cases nationwide last week.