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CDC Claims Wearing Masks Indoors No Longer Necessary In Pandemic Fight

CDC Claims Wearing Masks Indoors No Longer Necessary In Pandemic Fight

CDC masks

Photo: A grocer wearing a protective mask as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus stocks papers at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Wearing masks indoors is no longer necessary in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic based on new guidance that incorporates federal covid-19 data from hospitals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most Americans — about 70 percent — are safe going without mask both indoors and out, however, close to 30 percent of Americans should continue wearing masks in indoor public areas.

The guidelines also suggest that many Americans no longer need to maintain a social distance or avoid crowded indoor spaces.

The highly anticipated change on mask guidance relies more on hospitalizations and local hospital capacity as a key measure and less on the number of covid-19 cases.

Most states have already eased rules for mask-wearing, and some including New Jersey, have announced plans to lift mandates even in schools. Other states plan to end indoor mask mandates in the coming weeks.

The new guidance puts more than half of the 3,006 U.S. counties at low or medium risk for covid, which means masks are not necessary there, according to the CDC. Those counties account for roughly 70 percent of people in the U.S.


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“The overall risk of coronavirus is lower because of the widespread immunity provided by vaccines or prior infection, improvements in testing, and accessibility to new treatments. We’re in a stronger place today as a nation with more tools to protect ourselves,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

People who are at higher risk for covid-19 or those who live with people who are at risk will need to take extra precautions such as wearing masks, regardless of their community status, according to CDC. Those people who still want to wear a mask can continue to do so.

“People who wear a high-quality mask are well-protected, even if others around you are not masking,” said Greta Massetti, a senior scientist at the CDC.

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Regardless of where one lives, the CDC recommends staying up to date with covid-19 vaccines and getting tested in case of symptoms.

Masks are still required in buses, trains, and other forms of public transport. It is also important to avoid crowded spaces and poorly ventilated indoor spaces if you are at an increased risk of getting very sick from covid-19.

The relaxed guidance is an appropriate move, according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee.

“Cases, hospitalizations and even deaths are trending downward and have been trending downward in a sustained fashion,” said Dr. Schaffner.

Photo: A grocer wearing a protective mask as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus stocks papers at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)