Coronavirus tally: Justice Department will not appeal face mask ruling unless CDC says they are still needed

The Justice Department said Tuesday it would not appeal a federal judge’s ruling that ended the U.S. face mask mandate on public transportation unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the requirement is still necessary, the Associated Press reported. The abrupt overturning of the mandate on Monday created confusion on Tuesday as some airlines immediately dropped their mandates, while other transport systems said they would keep their’s, creating a mishmash of local rules. resident Joe Biden went all-in on flexibility Tuesday when asked if Americans should mask up on planes. “That’s up to them,” Biden declared during a visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The CDC has not yet made an announcement on its thinking.
COVID-19 cases are rising again across the U.S. after their steep decline early in the year, driven by the BA.2 variant, and two new subvariants that
appear to be even more infectious. The two, named BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, were highlighted by health officials in New York State last week and accounted for more than 70% of new cases in central New York State in March, according to a statement from the health department. The two are sub-lineages of BA.2, which has become dominant in the world, accounted for 99.2% of cases sequenced in the World Health Organization’s weekly update from last week. The U.S. is averaging 41,989 cases a day, according to a New York Times tracker, up 47% from two weeks ago. The country is averaging 14,790 hospitalizations a day, down 4% from two weeks ago, the lowest since the first weeks of the pandemic. The daily death toll has fallen below 600 to 410 on average.
On a global basis, total cases are now above 506 million. Total deaths are above 6.2 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. still leading the way with 80.7 million cases and 989,366 deaths.

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