The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reportedly ditch its guidance for indoor masking for a majority of Americans due to the continuing drop in coronavirus cases nationwide.
The CDC is expected to announce the change in policy as early as Friday according to sources familiar with the plan.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky hinted last week that the organization was reviewing the mask guidance with an eye towards giving people a "break" given improved case counts and hospitalization rates.
Under current guidelines, the CDC recommends people wear masks if they reside in a county with high transmission, which applies to roughly 95% of U.S. counties.
Critics have argued that case counts are not useful for determining social distancing guidelines anymore after so many people have gotten vaccinated. Walensky appeared to reference this criticism when she described how the policies might change.
"We must consider hospital capacity as an additional important barometer," she said during a coronavirus update. "We want to give people a break from things like mask-wearing when these metrics are better, and then have the ability to reach for them again should things worsen."
The CDC reported that the seven-day average of total nationwide cases had dropped by 43%, from about 213k cases to 122k cases. They also said that 64.5% of the U.S. population had been fully vaccinated, while 76% had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
While many welcomed the possibility that indoor masks would be unneeded anymore, some, like Joy Behar of "The View" screeched that she would continue wearing masks because it was "unsafe" otherwise. A day later, she was caught maskless in a public restaurant with her friends.
Here's more about the new mask guidelines:
CDC set to release new mask guidelines www.youtube.com