By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – The Justice Department has filed an appeal that seeks to reverse a judge’s recent ruling that ended the nation’s mask mandate on public transit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had asked the department to appeal the decision, issuing a statement Wednesday that the mandate “remains necessary for the public health.”

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Here in Colorado, the COVID testing positivity rate is on the rise again, nearing 5%. As fewer public places and agencies are requiring masks in our state as well, Dr. Reggie Washington says we’re not completely out of the woods yet.

“Omicron is still in the environment, in the community and it’s not going away,” Washington said.

He also told CBS4’s Mekialaya White masking is only one of the tools that is being used to keep the pandemic in check.

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“Socially distancing, not exposing yourself to someone who is sick… and certainly being vaccinated, those are very important still.”

Washington says, if it’s recommended for you, get a booster shot.

“The CDC recommends anyone over the age of 60 get a booster and anyone immunosuppressed, or they have other chronic medical conditions should receive a booster.”

But as far as vaccinating children younger than five, the CDC and FDA are still examining the data. He says that’s for the better.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to get ahead of the science,” said Washington.

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Washington also noted that omicron produces more severe symptoms in children aged 5-11, which is why it’s crucial they get vaccinated, as shown in a new study released by the CDC this week.

Mekialaya White