February 28, 2022

CDC issues new guidelines on masks

Editor's Note

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on February 25, issued new recommendations on when masks should be worn by the public.

Under the new guidelines:

  • In communities with “low” or “medium” levels of COVID-19, masks are not recommended for the general public, which is now more than 70% of communities.
  • In areas with “high” levels of COVID-19 (nearly 30% of population), masks are recommended in public indoor settings.
  • In communities with “medium” levels of COVID-19, high-risk individuals are encouraged to talk to their physicians about wearing masks.
  • Universal masking in schools is only recommended in areas with “high” levels of COVID-19.
  • For individuals who have tested positive and have COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, masks should be worn regardless of their county risk level.
  • Travelers are still required to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and buses and at airports and train stations until March 18, and the CDC will reconsider this recommendation in the next month.

The new guidelines shift from a focus on the rate of COVID-19 transmission to monitoring local hospitalizations, hospital capacity, and infection rates.


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