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CDC extends mask requirement on planes, public transportation until May 3

Washington — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday it will extend its nationwide mask requirement for passengers on planes and public transportation through May 3, citing the need to assess the impact of a new coronavirus variant that is driving most COVID-19 infections in the U.S.
The mask mandate was set to expire April 18, but the Biden administration will keep the requirement in place for another 15 days amid the rise in cases driven by the new BA.2 sublineage of the Omicron variant, which makes up more than 85% of U.S. infections.
"In order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, the CDC order will remain in place at this time," the CDC said in a statement.
The decision to keep the mandate in place into early May comes as Republican lawmakers and executives at the nation's top airlines pushed the Biden administration to lift the masking requirements due to the drop in cases. 
Ed O'Keefe is a senior White House and political correspondent for CBS News based in Washington, D.C.