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Mask Confusion? Travelers See Mixed Messaging Using Public Transit

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A day after a federal court struck down mask-wearing on public transit, travelers are seeing mixed messaging on masks on planes, trains and automobiles.

"We do encourage people to check with their airlines to make sure that their guidelines haven't changed," said Scott Johnston, a spokesperson for Sacramento International Airport (SMF).

At airports like at Philadelphia's international airport, masking is still required due to a citywide mandate. Masks are optional at the Sacramento International Airport, Johnston said.

And Lyft does not require masks, but Uber and Sacramento Regional Transit recommend them.

Only a day after the mask mandate was removed from public transit, we found some air travelers at SMF in a celebratory mood.

"Oh, my gosh, it was like heaven," said Tina McCole, who's in town to visit family.

"With the mask, you couldn't breathe," said Makai Pearson of Fairfield. "You smelled your breath. It might [stink]."

Though, some erred on the side of caution as travelers explained not everyone removed their masks on their flight home.

"Yeah, it's pretty close to 50/50," said Jarred LaPeire and Billie Adamick of Napa. The pair returned home after departing from St. Louis.

But does the strike down mean the U.S. is entering its final wave of mask mandates?

"I think we're getting there," said Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief physician at the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Health. "I think we're seeing the change from the beginning of the pandemic where everybody was susceptible to infection. "

The move comes at the right time, he explained. By now, everyone has had at least partial immunity to COVID-19 whether through being vaccinated or contracting the virus.

The takeaway: doctors say vaccines and masks have pushed the pandemic from a public health issue to an individual health issue.

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