CDC continues to recommend masking while traveling

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again recommended that Americans should still mask up while traveling. 

This comes after a federal judge threw out the mandate last month. But the recommendation is just that, a recommendation. It doesn’t undo the court ruling in April.

What You Need To Know

  • The CDC continues to recommend people mask up while traveling
  • The Charlotte Douglas International Airport says people still have the option to mask or not
  • People who are immunocompromised say this affects them

In a statement, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport said travelers still have the option to wear a mask.

“Masks are not required at CLT based on federal, state and local ordinances,” airport officials said. “If passengers feel more comfortable wearing a mask, they have the choice to do so. We advise passengers to check with their airlines regarding mask requirements.”

When the mandate was thrown out, many people took to social media to express their concern for those who travel while immunocompromised.

Tim Cooper is one of those people who understands this concern firsthand.

Cooper has multiple myeloma, which Novant Health says is an uncommon type of blood cancer. 

“It’s been a whirlwind experience to stop you in your tracks,” he said.

Cooper used to work at the Charlotte airport, managing multiple restaurants.

After his diagnosis last July and because of the pandemic, he could no longer work in the public space.

He had to leave his job before the mandate was thrown out, but he voiced his frustrations with the lift of the mask mandate.

“It’s not about you. It’s about someone else. People forget that, it’s not just about them,” Cooper said.

“It’s your kids, your grandparents, elderly parents, elderly neighbors that are affected or those who have immune compromised diseases. Wearing a mask should be a simple ask. It’s not just for you to wear it yourself. It’s to protect others, like me, that are immunocompromised,” he said.

Monique Miles, who’s been immunocompromised for the last 19 years, is a frequent traveler.

This week, she headed to Cleveland to visit family. She plans to continue to wear her mask.

“I knew that more people wouldn’t, so that let me know I need to make sure to do other things that can keep me healthy and continue to boost my immune system as much as I can,” she said.

However, it’s not slowing her down.

“For the first year of the pandemic, I did mostly road trips,” she said. “But after that it’s like, you know, I just have to live my life.”

A Charlotte doctor says there can still be a risk to taking the mask off too soon.

“The immuncompromised are still at great risk,” said Dr. Tracei Ball, the chief medical officer of OnCall Mobile Medical and Wellness. “You have some who can’t get vaccinated or under vaccinated because they haven’t mounted the response that should because of the nature of their medical condition.” 

She recommends getting vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t yet.

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