CDC Loosens Mask-wearing
Guidance for Most of U.S. Population
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
announced updates to its mask-wearing recommendations, loosening guidance for
a majority of the U.S. population.
The CDC provides COVID-19 Community Levels as a tool to help
communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.
These levels can be low, medium or high, and are determined by hospital beds
being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in
an area. These levels inform the agency’s guidance on mask-wearing, among
other topics such as COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
The agency now only recommends that individuals in high-risk
areas wear a mask in indoor settings. Currently, around 70% of the U.S.
population is in a low- or medium-risk county. As such, the CDC would no
longer recommend that these individuals wear a mask indoors.
Notably, the CDC’s new mask-wearing guidelines apply to its
guidance for K-12 schools, meaning that it no longer recommends masks as a
COVID-19 prevention step for schools in low- or medium-risk counties.
Previously, the agency had recommended universal indoor masking in
Individuals are always welcome to wear a mask at any time if
they feel safer with it, according to the CDC. Additionally, people with
symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should
continue to wear a mask.
“With widespread population immunity, the overall risk of
severe disease is now generally lower.”
- CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky
To learn more, the CDC provides a tool to find local COVID-19 Community Levels and the recommended
prevention steps by county.
The agency notes that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to
evolve, this guidance could be subject to change.
Swift Kennedy & Associates will keep you updated on any