RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Whether you’re taking a flight or catching a bus, you’ll still need to bring a mask.
The Biden administration extended the mask mandate for transportation, that includes planes, buses and trains. The requirement was set to expire April 18th, but has now been extended to May 3rd.
Juan Vazquez has been riding GoRaleigh buses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to commute to work.
“A lot of people (have) been sick, a lot of coughing going on on these buses sometimes, so I think the masks are very important,” Vazquez said.
Most of the GoRaleigh and Amtrak riders CBS 17 spoke to Wednesday said they were happy to see the requirement continue.
“I think it’s a good idea, since we’re in so close proximity to the people,” Amtrak rider Ann Pendergrass said. “I mean we came down and the train was pretty full, so I felt comfortable having my mask on.”
Claire Furbush started riding Amtrak again about six months ago, making trips from Raleigh to Washington D.C.
“It’s a little bit odd that masks are required on transit when you’re not wearing them in other places, but I think it makes a lot of sense,” Furbush said. “It’s definitely keeping us safer and limiting the spread of infection, especially on busy trains like I was on.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the two-week extension gives the Center for Disease Control and Prevention time to monitor the spread of the BA.2 subvariant, that now makes up more than 85 percent of cases in the country.
“What they’re looking at is that since early April there’s been an increase in the 7-day moving average of the cases in the United States, so what they’re trying to do is give a little bit more time to assess its potential impact,” Psaki said.
According to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the state averaged 546 new cases per day during the week that ended April 9, up nearly 60 percent from the week prior.
Wednesday’s data from NCDHHS showed hospitalizations are at a near two-year low.