CDC recommends masks for travelers 2 and older

Posted at 11:39 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 23:40:42-04

ROMULUS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is proceeding with caution by reinstating its mask wearing recommendation for travel as it keeps a close eye on rising COVID-19 cases.

Anyone 2 or older is being urged to still wear a mask while on airplanes, trains and buses.

Passengers at Detroit metropolitan airport like having the option of when and where to wear a face mask.

“I think it should be up to the individual if they want to wear one of not,” Sarah Schudlt said as she was heading to Indiana.

Another passenger on her way to South Carolina told 7 Action News she keeps her mask close by.

“If I’m in a real crowded area, I will have it on. But out here when you just checking in and if it’s slow, I won’t have it on,” Erica Byrd said.

The federal mask mandate on public transportation was dropped last month after a federal judge in Florida struck down mask on planes, trains and buses.

In a statement, the CDC says their latest public health recommendation is based on the following:

“available data, including an understanding of domestic and global epidemiology, circulating variants and their impact on disease severity and vaccine effectiveness, current trends in COVID-19 Community Levels within the United States, and projections of COVID-19 trends in the coming months.”

Local doctors say COVID-19 cases are already going up across the country and in Southeast Michigan.

“The question is, how big a surge are we going to have. Hopefully, it will not be that much, but CDC wants to make sure people are taking care of themselves and try to minimize transmission,” Dr. Dennis Cunningham said.

Cunningham is the system medical director for Infection Prevention at Henry Ford Health.

He says the omicron variant BA.2 is what’s causing the spread.

“About 30% of cases in this country are from BA2.1.2.1, which is a different sub variant, which started in New York and now spreading here,” he said.

7 Action News reached out to DTW on the CDC’s decision to reinstate the mast recommendation. In a statement they told us:

“Since a federal judge overturned the CDC order requiring mask usage on public transportation and in transportation hubs, the CDC has continued to recommend the use of masks. We’ve shared that information with our customers and employees, even though masks are no longer required at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. We’ll continue to communicate this recommendation moving forward.”

“Personally, if I’m traveling on an airplane, I’m going to choose to wear a mask,” Cunningham said.

Other passengers we spoke with agree.

“I just want to keep myself safe and my family safe,” a passenger said on her way to Atlanta.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.