Make your home page

Indiana doctor reacts to TSA’s mask mandate extension

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Transportation Security Administration is expected to extend the nationwide mask mandate for public transportation to April 18.

The extension will give the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention time to come up with revised recommendations.

Indiana has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the nation.

So, why are masks needed?

News 8 spoke with Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health, who says the extension has to do with what’s going on in the country, not just Indiana. 

“Literally people are coming in from all over the country,” he said. “The viral activity varies around the country even though it is significantly lower everywhere right now. But, it’s not the same everywhere. From what we know is if you put two people who are both masked on a plane next to each other the likelihood they are going to spread the virus accidentally drops close to zero. That’s where the benefit comes from.”

Doehring says the risk of infection is still higher on public transport compared to when out in the community. 

He also says the nation is in a transition phase, so hang on a little bit longer and be patient. If the trends continue the way they are, Americans soon will be on the other side of the pandemic.