What now? Justice Dept. to appeal mask mandate order, and experts weigh in

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 news.

Justice Department looks to appeal this week’s travel mask mandate repeal

The Justice Department is filing an appeal seeking to overturn a judge’s order that voided the federal mask mandate on planes and trains and in travel hubs, officials said Wednesday.

The notice came minutes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the Justice Department to appeal the decision handed down by a federal judge in Florida earlier this week.

A notice of appeal was filed in federal court in Tampa. See what the CDC said:

Biden toils to put pandemic behind him

President Joe Biden’s administration has been working for months to prepare people to rethink their personal risk calculations as the nation gets used to the idea of living with an endemic COVID-19.

After the government last month eased indoor mask-wearing guidelines for the vast majority of Americans – even in schools — masking on planes was one of the last redoubts of the national COVID-19 restrictions. Now, as the policy falls, the administration turns to accelerating its efforts to provide the best advice for millions making their own personal safety decisions in the still-dangerous pandemic. Read more here:

Ventilation helps, but experts say masks are better

Although a federal judge struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for public transportation Monday, some experts say you don’t want to throw out your mask just yet. No matter the form of public transportation — planes, trains, trams, subways, buses or even rideshares — good ventilation can help reduce the spread of Covid-19, but masks work best.

“You can’t engineer your way out of a problem like this,” said Krystal Pollitt, an assistant professor of epidemiology and assistant professor in chemical and environmental engineering at the Yale Institute for Global Health. Get more here:

Shanghai allows 4 million people out of their homes

Shanghai allowed 4 million more people out of their homes Wednesday as anti-virus controls that shut down China’s biggest city eased, while the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast of Chinese economic growth and warned the global flow of industrial goods might be disrupted.

A total of almost 12 million people in the city of 25 million are allowed to go outdoors following the first round of easing last week, health official Wu Ganyu said at a news conference. Wu said the virus was “under effective control” for the first time in some parts of the city. Find out more here:

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