Daily new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise nationwide. Several states such as California, Massachusetts, and Washington are seeing more than 10,000 new cases per week—increases of more than 30% in each state week-over-week. Deaths from COVID-19 continue to fall, though hospitalizations are slowly rising again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has forecasted a small, continuing increase over the next month.
The federal mask mandate for travel on domestic flights and on public transportation was struck down last week by Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. The news was met with a mix of reactions—relief for some (as shown through social media videos of cheering plane passengers), confusion for others who point to the lack of consistency over mask mandates across all public arenas (meaning beyond transportation), and opposition and/or disappointment from those who still support the mask mandate and see it as a vital part of the path out of the pandemic. The Biden Administration appealed the ruling on April 20. The case will be heard by the 11th Circuit Court, though the federal mask mandate is set to expire on May 3, so the case may be moot.
Several colleges and universities (such as Columbia, Howard, and Johns Hopkins) are reinstating mask mandates in classrooms and indoor venues as cases trend upwards.
Moderna has applied for emergency use authorization for vaccines for children ages 6 months through 5 years old. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has intimated in the past few days that they cannot complete their review until they “actually have complete applications,” implying that incomplete data has been submitted. Pfizer has said it will submit its data from clinical trials with very young children in early May.