The mask mandate was extended for US transit, but dropped in several other settings: The Week in Covid News.

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The mask mandate was extended for US transit, but dropped in several other settings: The Week in Covid News.

In an aggressive move toward normalcy, public school students in New York City returned to mask-optional classes on Monday for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

In Puerto Rico, the governor lifted the area’s mask mandates for most places, as one of the last holdouts in the United States to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Hawaii followed suit on Tuesday, becoming the 50th and last state to announce it would abandon its universal indoor mask mandate as the nation tries to move past the once brutal Omicron wave.

But in some places there is still a dispute regarding the removal of masks. The Chicago teachers’ union vowed to fight a plan to lift a mask mandate in the nation’s third-largest school district, and a young New Yorker told reporters he felt unsafe without a mask at school.

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration announced it would extend its mask mandate to airplanes and other public transportation through mid-April, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would ask federal agencies to revise mask policies. will work together.

The requirement will remain in place until at least April 18. Under the TSA’s rule, passengers on airplanes, buses and trains and at airports and transit stations must wear masks.

But relatively little detail indicated that the federal government was preparing to ease the requirement, at least in some places. The CDC was consulting with other federal agencies to determine when masks should be required on public transportation, taking into account the number of cases and the risk of new variants, among other factors.

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Here’s what else happened this week:

  • The once intense Omicron wave, retreating across much of the world, is raging in parts of East and Southeast Asia. The World Health Organization noted this week that some countries are enduring their worst waves of the pandemic.

  • Ukraine’s health care system is still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, even as it tries to deal with the dire effects of an invasion that has sowed destruction and disorder in the country, said WHO’s regional director for Europe said on Tuesday. Ukraine reported 731 Covid deaths to the organization last week, a figure that may have underestimated the true toll.

  • Thirteen Democratic state governors wrote this week to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Javier Becerra, urging him to extend the nation’s public health emergency declaration for at least another three months beyond the deadline set in April. The governors said they needed more time to prepare.

  • Novak Djokovic, one of the world’s foremost sports stars against a coronavirus vaccination, said on Wednesday that he cannot enter the United States because he is unaffiliated and cannot participate in the Indian Wells tennis tournament starting this week. Will take and runs until next weekend in Southern California.

  • Authorities in Ontario, Canada, said Wednesday that the province was abandoning its universal mask mandate, weeks after truckers paralyzed the nation’s capital Ottawa during protests over coronavirus restrictions.

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