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Fact Sheet COVID-19Emergency Legal Preparedness and Response

CDC Travel Mask Mandate Litigation

November 4, 2022


In response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and President Biden’s Executive Order 13998 calling on the heads of executive departments and agencies to mandate masking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order, Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs (“CDC’s Mask Mandate” or “Mandate”), on January 29, 2021. On April 18, 2022, a federal district court in Florida struck down CDC’s Mandate, barring its national enforcement. Less than 2 weeks later, on April 29, another federal court—in the same Florida district—reached an opposite conclusion in a separately filed case and upheld the Mandate. While appeals and other litigation ensue, however, CDC’s Mandate is not being enforced. Consequently, increases in COVID-19 cases among those who use public transportation are predictable. This fact sheet explains these two district court decisions and other litigation, including ongoing appeals, assessing CDC’s Mask Mandate.