CDC Eases Guidelines For COVID-19 Mask-Wearing

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Crain’s Detroit Business
Feb. 25, 2022
Dustin Walsh

Most Americans live in places where healthy people, including students in schools, can safely take a break from wearing masks under new U.S. guidelines on COVID-19 released Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined the new set of measures for communities where COVID-19 is easing its grip, with less of a focus on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals.

The new system greatly changes the look of the CDC’s risk map and puts more than 70 percent of the U.S. population in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals. Those are the people who can stop wearing masks, the agency said.

The agency is still advising that people, including schoolchildren, wear masks where the risk of COVID-19 is high. That’s the situation in about 37 percent of U.S. counties, where about 28 percent of Americans reside.

The new guidelines mean about 90 percent of Michigan’s populations no longer need to wear a mask per the recommendations.

Under the new guidance, the CDC recommends 18 of Michigan’s 83 counties maintain a mask-wearing guidance: St. Clair, Sanilac, Clinton, Gratiot, Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, Mason, Grand Traverse, Bay, Arenac, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Alcona, Alpena, Menominee and Luce.

The new recommendations do not change the requirement to wear masks on public transportation and indoors in airports, train stations and bus stations. The CDC guidelines for other indoor spaces aren’t binding, meaning cities and institutions even in areas of low risk may set their own rules. And the agency says people with COVID-19 symptoms or who test positive shouldn’t stop wearing masks.

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