Well, Outsiders, the CDC is now recommending only 10% of United States residents wear masks indoors. However, this is because this 10% of Americans live in an area of “high” COVID risk.
This comes as a surprise after the drastic fall from last week. Previously, officials recommended nearly all Americans wear masks before the updated guidelines.
These updated recommendations also value hospitalization rate and capacity instead of only daily cases. These CDC recommendations to wear masks indoors also come as COVID cases continue to go down in the country.
The country averages 57, 020 cases every day, a 25% drop over the past week, and a 90% drop since the Omicron surge peaked in mid-January. However, many states were already dropping the mask mandates before the CDC updated guidelines last week. Hawaii remains the only U.S. state not to lift mandates or at least have plans to do so. New York, San Francisco, and Chicago lifted their mask mandates as COVID cases fall.
Last week, initial CDC guidelines revealed that 30% of Americans live in an area recommended to wear masks indoors. However, in only one week, officials cut that percentage by a third.
Last week, the CDC revised its COVID-19 risk assessment metrics. They ended up dropping the number of Americans living in areas of “high” risk from 95% to 30%.
Counties that are still under mask recommendations from the CDC vary in West Virginia and Kentucky. These states are among those leading the nation in the COVID hospitalization rate. In West Virginia, 35 of every 100,000 residents contract the illness every day. In Kentucky, 23 per 100,000 residents contract the virus daily.
Because neither state has mask mandates, residents of both states have the option to decide whether or not they wish to wear masks.
More On CDC Indoor Masks Recommendations
Although the CDC recommends only high-risk U.S. residents wear masks indoors, many are ready to resume life before the pandemic. However, an AP-NORC survey taken last month found that only 24% of Americans continue to be concerned about themselves or someone in their family catching the virus.
At the State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced new plans for the U.S. to move forward. Biden discussed plans to control the pandemic without the need for lockdowns or other potentially-destructive mandates. Not only that, but he also announced the country’s increased purchase order of Pfizer’s from 10 million to 20 million courses.
On Wednesday, the White House also announced its plan to create a “one-stop” website where Americans could find information about the pandemic. This also includes more resources about the vaccine rollout and increasing the nation’s COVID test manufacturing capacity. The plan also gives funding to schools and daycare centers. The funding helps improve their ability to prevent transmission and supplies them with COVID tests and resources needed to improve oxygenating.