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CDC Changes Mask Guidance for Public Transportation

Yes, you can travel and reduce risk during the pandemic if you do this.

Early on in the pandemic, most people avoided using public transportation altogether. Over the last few months, as we have learned more about how the virus spreads, airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride shares, have become increasingly more popular. However, if you are going to travel amongst other people who don't live inside of your home, you need to take extra precaution, warns the CDC in their latest guidance. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

What is the CDC's New Mask Guidance About Public Transportation?

"CDC strongly recommends appropriate masks be worn by all passengers and by all personnel operating the conveyance while on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) and within locations where people board such conveyances (e.g. airports, bus or ferry terminals, train stations, seaports)," they write. 

As most Americans are well aware of by now, face masks are one of the most important tool in preventing the spread of the virus. "Face masks help prevent people who have COVID-19, including those who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, from spreading the virus to others. Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings," they remind. 

As to why it is so important to mask up while using public transportation, they offer many reasons.

"Traveling on public conveyances increases a person's risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing persons in close contact with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces," they explain. 

When it comes to air travel, they point out that it "often requires spending time in security lines and busy airport terminals," while "travel by bus, train, and other conveyances used for international, interstate, or intrastate transportation poses similar challenges." 

Additionally, when traveling via bus or airplane, social distancing may be difficult if not downright impossible. "People may not be able to distance themselves by the recommendation to be at least 6 feet from individuals seated nearby or those standing in or passing through the aisles on airplanes, trains, or buses," they continue.

RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Never Want to Get

Interstate Travel Continues to Spread the Virus

They also point out that traveling in-between states continues to lead to the spread of the virus, domestically and globally. "Given how interconnected most transportation systems are across the nation and the world, local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected persons travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks."

They also remind that by masking up during travel now, will enable people to be able to continue to do so in the future. "Broad and routine utilization of masks on our transportation systems will protect Americans and provide confidence that we can once again travel more safely even during this pandemic." So wear your face mask, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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