About two years into the pandemic, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a new set of recommendations on mask-wearing. The new guidelines suggest about 70% of Americans can not only remove their masks but also no longer need to social distance or avoid indoor crowds. The twist is the CDC no longer base their recommendations on the number of cases per community. Instead, they are relying on individual counties to make sound decisions based on three factors: new Covid-related hospital admissions over the previous week and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients, as well as new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the previous week.
The new set of guidelines gives people a framework for adapting precautions as virus levels change, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C.’s director, told reporters.
“We want to give people a break from things like masking when our levels are low, and then have the ability to reach for them again should things get worse in the future,” she said. “We need to be prepared and we need to be ready for whatever comes next.”