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Mask mandate extended on public transportation

By Maddy Chemers

On Wednesday, the Biden Administration announced that masks will continue to be required for public transportation until May 3, 2022. Previously, the mask mandate on federal transportation was set to end in March and was extended until April 18. But, an additional 15 days have been added. This extension comes after an increase in covid cases, specifically the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, which totals nearly 85% of cases nationwide.

On campus, the covid positivity rate is rising. Currently, the seven-day positivity rate is at 4.53%, the highest it has been since February when the positivity rate rested around 4.85%. In the last 12 days alone, 559 new cases have emerged among over 12,000 tests.

Students and faculty alike are still required to wear face coverings in instructional buildings. Now, they will have to continue to wear them on public transportation, such as the CUMTD buses, as well.

According to the CDC, Champaign County remains at a low level of covid cases, despite the recent uptick. In a recent press release, the CDC explained their Travel Notice Health System that can alert international travelers to the community covid level at their destination. On April 18, the new system will take effect.

The press release stated, “CDC uses Travel Health Notices to alert travelers and other audiences to health threats around the world and advise on how to protect themselves before, during, and after travel. With this new configuration, travelers will have a more actionable alert for when they should not travel to a certain destination (Level 4), regardless of vaccination status, until we have a clearer understanding of the COVID-19 situation at that destination.”

Both the CDC and the University of Illinois are continuing to monitor covid levels in the community.

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