CDC Relaxes Mask Mandates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 mask guidance Friday and will no longer recommend wearing masks in most indoor settings.
Many state and local governments have followed the CDC guidance when implementing mask mandates, meaning the change could lead to the end of the remaining mask mandates in many blue jurisdictions. The CDC has recommended Americans wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status since last summer after briefly relaxing their recommendation in the spring of 2021.
The new CDC guidance divides communities into high, medium, and low-risk categories based on COVID metrics such as hospitalizations. People in communities that are determined to be high risk are advised to wear a mask indoors, but those determined to be in low or medium-risk areas are advised to get vaccinated and be tested if they are sick.
In medium-risk communities, vulnerable individuals are encouraged to follow their own doctor’s advice on whether or not to wear a mask. Roughly 70% of American counties fall into the medium or low-risk groups, meaning those residents aren’t advised to mask.
Many states and cities still have vaccine or mask mandates in effect, but some Democrat-led governments began dropping their mandates in early February before the CDC changed their guideline. At the federal level, the Biden administration has consistently said that it will follow CDC guidelines, regardless of other considerations like the economy or social tradeoffs for groups like children.
Schools are one of the last and most difficult to enforce places that mask mandates remain in effect.
It remains to be seen when the Biden administration will drop mask mandates that are federally determined, such as on airplanes or in federal buildings.