CDC eases masking guidelines as cases drop

The new guidelines do not affect the mask requirements for public transportation.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The Centers for Disease Control announced on Friday that they have updated their masking guidelines.

The new guidelines will now focus on hospitals rather than the total number of cases. The three different category levels — low, medium and high — are based on hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, total case numbers and hospitalizations.

The decision to change the guidelines was made as cases and hospitalizations decline across the country.

“We’re in a stronger place today in the nation, with more tools to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19 like vaccinations, boosters, broader access to testing, availability of higher-quality masks and accessibility to new treatments and improved ventilation,” said Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC.

Graph 1

The CDC said counties in the low category will not need masks, while people in counties in the high category should wear masks inside.  Even if a person’s county is in the low category, they should still go out and get the vaccine.

Graph2

Right now, 70% of the U.S. population live in counties that are in the low or medium category, according to data from the CDC.  Nebraska has counties in the low, medium and high categories.

The new guidelines do not affect the mask requirements for public transportation.

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