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"The new Mask-optional Phase of the Pandemic Fuels Fears, and Some Cheers"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. Yifang Zhu, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences and senior associate dean for academic programs, and Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the risks in dropping mask requirements aboard U.S. airliners

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A new mask-optional phase of the pandemic is arriving, sparking concern from some experts that the shift is occurring too soon.

For months, local officials have been easing mask rules in public places, such as supermarkets and shopping malls. But a federal court ruling Monday striking down the federal mask-wearing order on public transportation systems accelerated the trend, with Uber, Lyft, many airlines and transit agencies making face coverings optional.

In one section of Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday morning, an estimated 30% to 40% of travelers were not wearing masks.