Passengers board a Forest Park-bound CTA Blue Line train at O’Hare International Airport on April 4, 2022. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — A federal judge has struck down the federal rule requiring people to wear masks on airplanes and other forms of public transportation.

The requirement, which comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures” for making rules, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said in her ruling, according to The New York Times.

Mizelle’s ruling effectively stops the federal requirement from being enforced, though people could still have to abide by local rules on public transportation, including buses and trains.

It was not immediately clear if the Justice Department would appeal Mizelle’s ruling.

The CDC had recently extended the order through May.

Many places have done away with other masking rules; Chicago and Illinois dropped their indoor mask requirements in February as COVID-19 cases fell after the Omicron surge.

But officials have urged people to continue practicing safety measures that take into account their individual risk if they’re exposed to COVID-19.


• In Illinois, about 8.2 million people — or 64.6 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 18,160 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 21,691,084 vaccine doses of the 26,404,345 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 68.8 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 77.4 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Since Thursday, 13 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 33,517 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 4,306 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 8,175 cases since Thursday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 3,100,240.

• Since Thursday, 220,219 tests were reported statewide. In all, 58,491,199 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• The state is reporting an average of 120 confirmed cases per day per 100,000 people. That average was at 109 on Thursday.

• As of Sunday night, 61 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 21 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, two deaths were reported since Thursday. There have been at least 7,342 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one person dying per day, up 50 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 2,002 confirmed cases reported since Thursday. It’s had a total of 573,990 confirmed cases. An average of 456 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 35 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is down 15 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.8 percent, up from 1.8 percent a week ago.

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