Minnesota Star Tribune: Minneapolis recommends masks; two Minnesota counties in high COVID range

Minnesota StarTribune: Minneapolis recommends masks; two Minnesota counties in high COVID range. “The seven-day rate of new COVID cases more than tripled since mid-March to 227 infections per 100,000 people in Minneapolis, and its rate of new COVID-19 hospitalizations more than doubled to 4.8 per 100,000, the city stated in a news release. The hospitalization rate is above Minnesota’s COVID-19 caution threshold.”

New York Times: Masks Are Still Required for N.Y.C. Public Transit, Taxis and Ride Shares

New York Times: Masks Are Still Required for N.Y.C. Public Transit, Taxis and Ride Shares. “The Metropolitan Transportation Authority doubled down on its mask mandate for subways, buses and commuter rail, as airlines lifted their requirements.”

The City Paper: Colombia to lift indoor face mask mandate within weeks

The City Paper: Colombia to lift indoor face mask mandate within weeks. “After a week in which Colombia registered record lows in per-day infections and deaths from coronavirus, the country’s Minister of Health, Fernando Ruíz confirmed in an interview with El Tiempo that the indoor face mask mandate could be lifted ‘within weeks.’ The declaration comes as Colombia registered one death from COVID-19 on Wednesday, and has averaged below 10 during the last fortnight.”

Haaretz: Israel Officially Ends Indoor Mask Mandate Amid COVID Decline

Haaretz: Israel Officially Ends Indoor Mask Mandate Amid COVID Decline. “Israel’s cancellation of the indoor mask mandate came into effect on Saturday evening, as coronavirus continues to wane in the country. The decision will not apply in high-risk places, such as hospitals, flights, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, while people on their way to quarantine will also be obliged to wear a mask.”

Associated Press: U.S. colleges reinstate mask mandates and other measures as COVID cases rise

Associated Press: U.S. colleges reinstate mask mandates and other measures as COVID cases rise. “The final weeks of the college school year have been disrupted yet again by COVID-19 as universities bring back mask mandates, switch to online classes and scale back large gatherings in response to upticks in coronavirus infections.”

Majority of Americans want masks for travelers: AP-NORC poll (Associated Press)

Associated Press: Majority of Americans want masks for travelers: AP-NORC poll. “A majority of Americans continue to support a mask requirement for people traveling on airplanes and other shared transportation, a new poll finds. A ruling by a federal judge has put the government’s transportation mask mandate on hold.”

Washington Post: Federal judge voids mask mandate for airplanes, in other transportation settings

Washington Post: Federal judge voids mask mandate for airplanes, in other transportation settings. “A federal judge in Florida on Monday voided a national mask mandate for airplanes and in other transportation settings. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida said the mandate exceeds the statutory authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Federal officials last week had extended the mask mandate for commercial flights and in other transportation settings, including on buses, ferries and subways, until at least May 3.”

Dallas Morning News: DART extends mask mandate until May 3 for all buses, trains

Dallas Morning News: DART extends mask mandate until May 3 for all buses, trains. “Dallas County had recorded 479,597 confirmed coronavirus cases during the pandemic as of Wednesday. The county’s risk level has been at yellow since mid-March. Noncompliance with the mask requirement, unless exempted, is a violation of federal law and could result in the denial of boarding or removal. Fines could be issued between $500 and $3,000 for repeated offenders. [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] has face masks and hand sanitizers on its vehicles for passengers.”

‘People feel abandoned’: as masks come off, thousands of Australians feel scared to go out (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘People feel abandoned’: as masks come off, thousands of Australians feel scared to go out. “…more than an estimated 700,000 Australians are, at any given time, considered immunocompromised – through genetic causes, as organ recipients, undergoing treatments for cancer and some infections and simply age. Many in these groups are choosing to remain in self-imposed lockdown as Covid-19 precautions in public settings ease.”

Drexel News: COVID Cases Increasing, Indoor Masking Returns Starting April 18

Drexel News: COVID Cases Increasing, Indoor Masking Returns Starting April 18. “Starting this Monday, April 18, the University will once again require mask-wearing in all indoor shared spaces, with a few exceptions.All community members must wear a mask, even if you are fully vaccinated and boosted. Masks will remain optional at the Recreation Center as well as in Drexel Housing; however, we encourage you to mask up in these spaces as well, based on your personal and group assessment of risk.”

Associated Press: CDC extends travel mask requirement to May 3 as COVID rises

Associated Press: CDC extends travel mask requirement to May 3 as COVID rises. “The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is extending the nationwide mask requirement for public transit for 15 days as it monitors an uptick in COVID-19 cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was extending the order, which was set to expire on April 18, until May 3 to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant that is now responsible for the vast majority of cases in the U.S.”

BREAKING: Philly Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate (NBC Philadelphia)

NBC Philadelphia: BREAKING: Philly Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate. “With COVID-19 cases slowly rising, Philadelphia is bringing back its indoor mask mandate for public places, schools and day cares. Philadelphia announced Monday that, on April 18, masks must be worn again indoors.”

Boing Boing: Hundreds of flights canceled due to Covid illness immediately after airlines canceled mask policy

Boing Boing: Hundreds of flights canceled due to Covid illness immediately after airlines canceled mask policy. “As US airlines push to have in-flight mask mandates lifted on the federal level, mask-optional European airlines are seeing hundreds of flight cancelations due to (yep, you guessed it) out-of-commission employees sick with Covid-19. For instance, Swiss-based EasyJet lifted mask requirements on March 27 and, lo and behold, cancelled 202 of its 3,517 flights between March 28–April 3 due to Covid illness, according to CBS. During the same time in 2019, the number of cancellations was zero. As in 0.”

Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago COVID-19 cases up 34% in a week, but city still ‘in good control,’ top doc says

Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago COVID-19 cases up 34% in a week, but city still ‘in good control,’ top doc says. “Case counts have remained relatively flat across most of the state, but the average seven-day positivity rate is at the highest point seen in a month. COVID deaths across the state have continued to plummet. The city is averaging less than one viral death per day.”

San Francisco Chronicle: This Bay Area school is reinstating its mask mandate after a COVID-19 spike

San Francisco Chronicle: This Bay Area school is reinstating its mask mandate after a COVID-19 spike. “A Bay Area elementary school has restored its mask mandate after reporting a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases. Since March 22, Coleman Elementary School in San Rafael has confirmed 23 total cases of the coronavirus across the school — 17 in students and six in employees — the district said. In response, the school informed families that it would be reinstating an indoor mask mandate through April 15.”