The AAMC joined 50 organizations representing clinicians, public health groups, scientists, and patients in an Aug. 23 letter to federal officials in support of the Aug. 17 announcement maintaining the mask requirement for public transportation until low coronavirus transmission rates and higher vaccination rates make it safe to lift the mandate.
The letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, and Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske, MPA, MBA, thanked the officials for extending the mask requirement on public transportation through Jan. 18, 2022.
“Diverse populations co-mingle on public transportation. … In addition, communities of color, who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, are more likely to live in densely populated metro areas and depend on public transportation to go to work, seek healthcare and buy groceries, increasing the risk of exposure to the virus,” it stated.
Due to the increased transmissibility of the delta variant, the letter added that “a combination of multiple prevention strategies … is critical to prevent infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Requiring masks on public transportation will continue to be an important component of this strategy.”