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CDC loosens guidelines, healthy Americans can drop mask wearing

- SARA CARTER - STAFF - FEB 25, 2022 -

Is it too good to be true? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday announced a change to the metrics it will use to determine whether to recommend face coverings. The new guide would be shifting away from looking at COVID-19 case counts “to a more holistic view of risk from the coronavirus to a community” reports the Associated Press. Currently, masks are recommended for 95 percent of U.S. counties.

The guidance has been based on caseloads, which were designated as areas of “substantial or high transmission” by the CDC. “Most Americans live in places where healthy people, including students in schools, can safely take a break from wearing masks under new U.S. guidelines released Friday” reports the AP.

The new set of measures focus less on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals. “The new system greatly changes the look of the CDC’s risk map and puts more than 70% of the U.S. population in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals. Those are the people who can stop wearing masks,” the agency said.

The CDC still advises people and schoolchildren to wear masks “where the risk of COVID-19 is high” which is about 37% of U.S. counties, where about 28% of Americans live.

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