CDC to extend mandate of federal transport mask an additional two weeks
The announcement is expected as early as Wednesday afternoon from the CDC.
The mandate, which requires masks on public transport such as planes, trains, buses – as well as at hubs like airports and bus stations – was due to expire on April 18. White House Covid-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told CNN on Monday that the CDC plans to share a scientific framework this week for the federal transport mask mandate.
A Biden administration official with knowledge of the decision told CNN the goal of the extension was to gather more information and understand the BA.2 variant of the coronavirus.
“Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day rolling average of cases in the United States. In order to assess the potential impact, the increase in cases has on serious illnesses, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity, CDC recommends TSA extend safety directive to mandate mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for 15 days, through May 3, 2022″ , the official told CNN.
The official added, “This will give the CDC more time to learn more about BA.2 and make a more informed decision.”
The United States now averages 38,345 new cases of Covid-19 per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Cases are trending up in more than half of the states — including all but one northeastern state, Delaware. But the daily rate remains one of the lowest since mid-July.
According to the CDC’s latest estimates, BA.2 caused 86% of new Covid-19 cases nationwide last week.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.