Health Experts Warn It’s Too Soon To Get Rid Of Masks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new development as the federal transportation mask mandate comes to an end. The Justice Department now says it intends to appeal the ruling to lift the mandate if the CDC decides it’s necessary to extend the measure.

It comes as face masks are now becoming optional on planes, at airports and public transportation nationwide for the first time in more than a year. A judge struck down the mandate Monday, ruling it “unlawful.” Most major airlines are now relaxing the rules, and letting passengers go mask-free on flights.

Passengers at Charlotte-Douglas Airport had mixed reactions:
“I’m free! I can breathe. I’m very excited. Of course, I got my shots, my booster and everything.”
“We’re going to hold off, my boyfriend and I, keep our masks on. Just to keep those around us safe.”
“I’m going to take it off. It feels way better to keep it off than on.”

The Charlotte Area Transit System also following suit, announcing masks are now optional for passengers and drivers on all of its vehicles. You also will no longer need a face covering if you’re taking an Uber or Lyft. The ride share companies changed their policies Tuesday following the federal ruling.

However, the CDC still recommends masking up in indoor public transportation spaces. And health experts are also warning it’s too soon to rid of masks all together. Former City of Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen says, “Just because this ruling was made by a judge, doesn’t mean that suddenly the science has changed.”

Experts say if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, you should. Data shows masks still give some amount of protection against COVID, even if no one else around you is wearing one.

Our question of the night: are you ready to ditch your mask just yet?

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB TV’s Kelli Bartik
WCCB News Edge contributor and host of Live With The QCB on 94.7FM, Tremaine “QCB” Sloan