Florida Federal Court Mask Removal Harms Public Health



                                                                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Encourages Use of Masks in Public Spaces

(Chicago – April 21, 2022) Illinois Unidos is a statewide network of Latino-serving community-based agencies, Latino medical and health professionals, academics, civic leaders, and public officials committed to an equitable response and recovery process from COVID19.   We are concerned with the Florida Federal Court Judge Mizelle’s recent ruling eliminating the federal mask mandate on airplanes and public transit. It is antithetical to science and compromises the health and safety of travelers, essential workers, and the public.  

Unfortunately, new COVID19 cases are on the rise. We applaud the decisions of cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago to reinstate the use of masks in public spaces in response to the upswing in Omicron BA.2 cases. Furthermore, we support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on the continued use of masks and other safety measures inside public spaces.

As travelers increase their air and ground transportation and close contact with transportation employees (e.g., airline and airport employees, public transit employees, taxi and shared-ride drivers), there is the potential to transmit contagious respiratory ailments, including Covid-19 variants. Regrettably, the pandemic continues, and there are now nearly one million COVID-related deaths in the nation.

Moving forward requires sound guidance, care, and mindful caution that we do not revert to behaviors that disrupt the nation’s workforce, public health and medical systems, and efforts to end the pandemic. Protecting the public’s health and safety must remain an intentional priority. ###

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