GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Doctors are weighing in on a federal judge’s decision on Monday to drop the mask mandate on public transportation.

“I was surprised,” said Dr. Robert Mead. “I knew people were (already) upset about an extended mandate.”

Dr. Mead is a family physician with Bellin Health. He said he is worried about the changes and what it could potentially mean down the road.

“It (masks) is one of the few things that we can do to prevent infections, and it’s been working very well,” said Dr. Mead.

With summer travel around the corner, one concern is the chance of further spreading COVID-19 or other viruses.

“I think we have to be worried now because on mass transit you cannot do a lot to mitigate infection,” Dr. Mead added.

The changes come at a time many hospitals were seeing fewer cases of COVID-19 patients and staff were finally getting a break from the two years of non-stop care.

“I think we are going into a period with a lot of unknowns because of this,” said Dr. Dan Shirley with UW Health. He says it is a lot less about us wearing a mask than it is protecting us from someone who might need us to.

“What we do know is that someone wearing a good mask does do something,” added Dr. Shirley.

He says it comes down to knowing your particular risk, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.

“What we’re trying to do as a population is decrease the spread and really protect the vulnerable people who still might end up in the hospital or dying,” said Dr. Shirley.

Doctors say your best defense remains staying up-to-date on the vaccine.

“Get your booster,” said Dr. Mead. “A lot of people have gotten the primary series, but the booster is very important because there’s waning immunity.” One thing doctors say you should consider as mandates change.

Dr. Mead says it is unlikely hospitals or doctor’s offices and clinics will drop their mask mandates anytime soon.