CDC Relaxes Mask Guidance for 70% of US
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) greatly relaxed its guidance for masks, impacting more than 70% of the U.S.
Under the new guidelines, more than 70 percent of the U.S. population is in an area with a “low” or “medium” COVID-19 community level, meaning masks are not recommended for the general public.
In areas with a “high” level — currently about 30 percent of the U.S. — masks would still be recommended in public indoor settings. And in areas under the “medium” level, people at higher risk are encouraged to talk to their doctor about wearing a mask.
“We are in a stronger place as a nation when it comes to protecting our communities and ourselves against severe disease because of our efforts – like vaccination, improvements in testing, high quality masks, and improved ventilation – and because of living with this virus for two years,” the CDC said.
“The overall risk of severe disease is now generally lower. Still, the virus will continue to circulate in our communities, and we must prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming our hospitals and healthcare systems.”
The updated guidance also affects masking in schools, which has been a highly-debated issue lately.
Under the new guidelines, masking in schools is now only recommended in areas with a “high” COVID-19 level.
“We welcome these long-needed new metrics for a safe off-ramp from universal masking,” said Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president.
“The CDC’s guidance is informed by science, not politics, and sets us on a path to a new normal in schools and other public places.”