Posts Tagged ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’

Amtrak Drops Face Mask Requirement

April 18, 2022

Amtrak has dropped its facial mask requirement for passengers and employees.

The passenger carrier acted after a federal judge in Florida set aside the mask mandate that had applied to all modes of public transportation.

The Biden administration said following the ruling by Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle that it would not enforce the mask mandate and was still considering whether to appeal the judge’s decision.

An Amtrak official said passengers and employees can still choose to wear a facial mask.

The mask mandate dates to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 and later became a federal rule that has been extended several times.

USA Today reported that many airlines, including United, Southwest, Delta and American, also have dropped the facial mask rule.

The federal facial mask mandate had been set to expire on Monday but the Centers for Disease Control wanted it extended through May 3 to provide more time to study the BA2 omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Florida judge ruled that extending the mask mandate exceeded the CDC’s authority and the federal agency failed to justify the order or follow proper rule making procedures.

CDC Mandates Mask Use on Public Transportation

February 2, 2021

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an order requiring mask use for all domestic travel on public transportation.

The order applies to passengers aboard trains, planes and buses and is also applicable inside of stations, airports and bus terminals.

Transportation providers are directed by the order to use their “best efforts” to ensure mask use, including removal of passengers who refuse to comply.

Enforcement of the order will be handled by the Transportation Security Administration and other federal authorities working as needed with state and local agencies.

The CDC mandate comes after President Joseph Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 21 requiring mask use while traveling on public transportation systems.

The agency said the purpose of the order is to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

CDC Recommends Masks for Train, Transit Travel

October 21, 2020

Passengers and crew members aboard passenger trains and public transit vehicles should wear masks the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.

The interim guidance directive said the recommendation is designed to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The recommendation applies to those waiting for trains or working at stations as well as while traveling aboard trains for the duration of travel. 

CDC recommended that operators refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask.

In a statement, the CDC said it issued the directive because of how interconnected most transportation systems are across the nation and the world.

Therefore local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected people travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks, CDC officials said.

APTA Critical of CDC Recommendation that Workers Avoid Using Public Transportation

June 2, 2020

A recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that workers avoid public transportation has drawn sharp criticism from a public transit trade group and some transit operators.

The American Public Transportation Association called the recommendation misguided and said it would “severely hamper our nation’s economic recovery.”

CDC recommended that as offices reopen and workers return that employers provide incentives to discourage use of public transportation.

Instead, CDC said workers should drive or use ride sharing services in instances in which the worker is the sole passenger.

APTA President Paul Skoutelas said the recommendation runs counter to past guidance provided to public transportation agencies and riders.

“The guidance also doesn’t consider the congestion created by millions of cars stuck in traffic. Gridlock and polluted skies are not the mobility future we want emerging from this crisis,” Skoutelas said.

He suggested that CDC work with APTA and the public transit industry to further develop appropriate guidelines.

CDC Recommendation Disfavors Public Transit

May 30, 2020

As if the nation’s public transportation systems were not suffering enough, a recommendation from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could add even more pain.

In a set of guidelines for reopening offices after COVID-19 pandemic closures the agencies suggests that employers offer incentive to workers to avoid mass transit.

Those could include such things as parking reimbursement for those who drive to work alone.

The CDC said those who take public transportation should ask employers to allow them to work at less busy times and wash their hands as soon as possible after riding a bus or train.

Earlier this week the New York Stock Exchange said workers and visitors are forbidden from traveling to the exchange aboard public transit and some fear that if this become a trend it will continue the devastation public transit systems have sustained from greatly reduced ridership.

TransitCenter, a New York-based foundation that supports public transportation, was critical of the CDC guidelines.

The organization Tweeted that some transit systems are carrying substantial loads while their cities experience low virus transmission rates.

“The CDC owes these Americans [who are unable to drive to work] stronger guidance on how to operate transit service while carrying a large share of typical ridership,” TransitCenter said.

CDC Issues Guidelines for Transit Agencies

May 16, 2020

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines to help mass transit managers decide when to reopen or increase service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines show a decision tree of a series of documents to provide guidance on opening or reopening of schools, restaurants and bars, and other public spaces.

Many of the recommended measures, including increased cleaning, increasing space between passengers to aid social distancing, and employee use of face coverings, have already been adopted by most transit and commuter rail agencies.

The guidelines also call for ongoing, daily monitoring of employees for signs and symptoms of illness, as feasible.