BREAKING NEWS: CDC Will Remove Mask Use Guidelines for 70% of U.S. Counties as Revised Guidelines Now Focus on Hospitalization Rates Rather Than Cases
- The CDC has revised its calculations to determine which areas of the country are most at risk of contracting Covid, now including hospital data.
- According to revised figures, 70% of US counties will no longer be subject to the mask recommendation.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky (pictured) announced on Friday that the CDC will change its calculations of transmission levels in each U.S. county to now include — and estimate — hospitalization rates and hospital capacity.
The agency announced on Friday afternoon that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will lift mask recommendations for 70 percent of US counties.
The agency revised the calculations that determine whether an area is “high”, “medium”, and “low” transmission. Whereas previously only the infection rate was taken into account, now the most valuable indicators will be the hospitalization rate and hospital capacity.
According to currently set targets, only five percent of US counties are not under the federal regulators’ recommendation to wear masks.
Since the main goal of pandemic mandates is to avoid overburdening health systems, estimates of hospital capacity and acute Covid rates are most important, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the agency, said the move allows Americans to feel safe dropping masks and other restrictions for now, when Covid isn’t as much of a threat as it has been in the past.
It also leaves room for officials to return masks and other restrictions in the future as the pandemic becomes more severe, without overreacting to a surge in mild cases.
According to previous estimates (data as of 9 a.m. Friday), less than 5% of US counties will not be subject to the CDC’s mask-wearing recommendation.