CDC Eases Mask Guidance For Most US Counties

Headline Roundup February 26th, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that they will no longer recommend masking indoors for most counties across the U.S.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the guidance was changed to "give people a break from mask-wearing" now that the overall risk of severe disease from COVID-19 is now generally lower. Under the new guidelines, which include public schools, counties are classified as low (green), medium (yellow) or high (orange) risk based on the rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity. Areas with more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days will be categorized in the high-risk level. CDC officials said about 23% of U.S. counties currently have low levels of COVID-19 cases, 39.6% have medium levels and 37.3% have high levels. More than 35 states already dropped their mask requirements, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy.

The new CDC guidelines were prominently covered across the spectrum. Left-rated outlets were more likely to emphasize the CDC continues to urge people to "get vaccinated and boosted, and get tested if they have symptoms." Some right-rated outlets highlighted the criticism that the CDC has faced in recent weeks for "an apparent lag in updated masking guidance." 

From the Center

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will no longer recommend masking indoors, schools included—except in areas with high levels of severe Covid cases—in order to “give people a break from mask-wearing” in lower-risk areas, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced Friday.

The CDC has updated its framework for monitoring communities’ Covid levels, focusing less on overall case numbers and more on numbers of severe cases, in order to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, Walensky said.

The CDC will continue to recommend wearing masks indoors in public spaces, including in...

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From the Right

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) moved Friday to loosen federal mask-wearing guidance for counties deemed to be at "low" or "medium" risk – including in schools.

Most Americans will no longer be advised to wear masks in indoor public settings and the agency announced a change to the metric it uses in recommending the face coverings – shifting from looking at COVID-19 cases counts to a more comprehensive view about a community's risk from the virus. Roughly 70% of Americans live in low- or medium-risk counties.

Under previous guidelines, masks were recommended...

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From the Left

Masks are no longer necessary in most counties in the US — including in indoor public places and schools — according to new recommendations released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under the latest guidelines, the CDC will be shifting focus to the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and hospital capacity in counties throughout the US, rather than the number and rate of new infections, officials said.

That shift will mean that more than half of the country, except people with underlying health conditions, can drop face...

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