▶️ Mask mandates lifted for many local transit options


With the world falling out of COVID consciousness, more and more restrictions are lifting.

The mask mandate for public transit was supposed to last another two weeks, until May 3, following an extension from the Center for Disease Control.

That all changed when a federal judge in Florida struck down the mandate, a week after it was announced.

Now, airports, bus services, and even shared driving apps are all adapting to the abrupt changes.

“So after discussing with our TSA regulatory, the Redmond Airport has decided not to enforce masks for passenger usage,” said Jayde Davis, the Airport Security Manager for Redmond Airport.

On Monday, passengers at the Redmond Airport had the option to board their flights mask-free.

“That said, some air carriers and some entities may choose to still implement a mask mandate on customers or employees,” Davis said.

So far, every airline flying to and from Redmond dropped their mask mandates including Alaska, Delta, United, and American Airlines.

“I would say we still see a great deal of individuals who have chosen to remove the mask,” Davis said. “We are still being very respectful and understanding of those who have chosen to continue to wear them.”

When Central Oregon Daily News visited the airport today, around 3/4 of passengers appeared to be maskless.

“I do think everyone is relieved to have some direction, some clarification on what the rules are,” Davis said.

Traveling by air isn’t the only travel option impacted by the mask mandate change.

“I will say we do have a spectrum of opinions,” said Andrea Breault, the Transportation Director for Cascades East Transit.

Beginning Tuesday morning, masking became optional for riders with Cascade East Transit as well.

“So we still have a vast supply of masks, hand sanitizers and cleaners that we still use to clean and wipe down what we call our ‘high touch areas’ on the buses,” Breault said.

Officials with Cascades East Transit told Central Oregon Daily News that the mandate lifting before summer will help out their routes to and from the river, as less riders will likely wear masks after a day on the water.

“We haven’t had too many issues,” Breault said.

The same is true for ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, where masking had previously been mandatory.

Both Redmond Airport and Cascades East Transit say they have not encountered resistance or disturbances from passengers regarding masks during and after the mandate.

However, both want to stress that relieving a mandate does not ban masks, and a person’s choice to wear one should be respected while using their services.


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