The New Normal: Mask confusion! Federal judge leaves decision to require masks to companies, local governments
News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined by Dr. Daniel Griffin, Chief of Infectious Diseases, ProHealth NY and Instructor in Clinical Medicine at Columbia University, to talk about the judge's ruling that overturned the federal mask mandate.
The new ruling leaves the decision up to individual companies.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is not on board with the change. Masks are still required on MTA buses, subways, and the Long Island Rail Road.
New Jersey Gov. Murphy says masks will no longer be required on NJ Transit and the South Jersey Transportation Authority.
The four largest U.S. airlines — United, Delta, Southwest and American — dropped their mask requirements for domestic flights. And Uber is also dropping the requirement.
According to Dr. Griffin, "If someone chooses to wear their mask, they are exercising their freedom. If you want to protect yourself, you still can. If you want to protect yourself, you still can. This is personal choice."
Moderna hopes to offer updated COVID-19 boosters in the fall that combine its original vaccine with protection against the Omicron variant. On Tuesday, Moderna reported a preliminary hint that such an approach might work.
Today's COVID-19 vaccines all are based on the original version of the coronavirus. But the virus continues to mutate, with the super-contagious Omicron variant, and its siblings, are the latest threat.
Before Omicron came along, Moderna was studying a combination shot that added protection against an earlier variant named beta. Tuesday, the company said people given that beta-original vaccine combination produced more antibodies capable of fighting several variants — including Omicron — than today's regular booster triggers.
The CDC is creating a new research team - The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics. It is a team of federal health scientists with the mission to provide what has often been absent from the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic: better, faster information, that is data driven, about what is likely to happen next in this public health emergency and in future outbreaks.
About 100 scientists will analyze technical data and communicate policy options to decision-makers and the public about how the virus is behaving and who is most at risk — in user-friendly terms.
Dr. Griffin responds to viewer's questions and thoughts about the new mask mandate changes.