CDC Eases Masking Guidelines After Deeming 70% Of Country ‘Low’ Or ‘Medium’ Risk

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky -Pool/Getty Images, FILE


More than 70% of Americans should be able to remove their masks indoors, including inside schools, under new metrics outlined Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that represent a seismic shift in how the public health agency plans to measure COVID-19 risk.

Under the new metrics, more than half of U.S. counties, which make up about three-fourths of where Americans live, are now considered to be at “low” or “medium” risk because of a reduced number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations and adequate hospital space. Accordingly, the CDC would no longer recommend that these communities insist on indoor masking.

In a press call with reporters, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cautioned that COVID was unpredictable and that these conditions could change that put hospitals at risk of once again being overloaded.

“None of us know what the future holds for us and for this virus,” Walensky said. “And we need to be prepared and we need to be ready for whatever comes next. We want to give people a break from things like mask wearing when our levels are low, and then have the ability to reach for them again if things get worse in the future.”

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