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CDC Is Easing Its Mask Guidance as Soon as Friday, Reports Say


CDC Is Easing Its Mask Guidance as Soon as Friday, Reports Say

Sarah Tew/CNET

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to update its mask guidance, loosening the indoor masking recommendation for many Americans as soon as Friday, according to many media reports. 

The CDC will announce changes to the way it determines who should wear a mask indoors, moving away from the number of COVID-19 cases in a community to a more “holistic view” of COVID-19’s impact, including hospitalization rates and local hospital capacity, the Associated Press originally reported. 

Currently, the CDC mask guidance is that Americans who live in counties with “substantial or high” COVID-19 transmission should wear a mask in indoor public spaces, which applies to the vast majority of Americans, regardless of vaccination status. Under the new rules, people in many communities may feel more comfortable about taking their masks off, as the recommendation will no longer be based solely on COVID-19 case counts. 

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The public health agency’s move comes after many states and local governments have dropped their mask mandates, putting pressure on public health agencies. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are decreasing in the US and other countries, as the world climbs down from a record-breaking spike of COVID-19 caused by the highly contagious omicron variant. While the omicron variant causes less severe disease than delta, on average, it’s highly contagious and severe for some people. COVID-19 continues to cause hospitalizations and deaths. More than 945,000…

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