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CDC publishes new guidance that will allow localities to reduce cover-ups and social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday launched a new strategy to help communities across the country live with the coronavirus and return to some version of normal life.

The new guidelines show that 70% of Americans can now stop wearing masks and no longer need to social distance or avoid crowded spaces indoors.

Recommendations are no longer based solely on the number of cases in a community to determine the need for restrictive measures such as wearing a mask. Instead, they directed counties to consider three measures to assess virus risk: the number of new Covid-related hospitalizations in the last week and the proportion of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients, as well as the number of hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients. new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people last week. .

Based on these three factors, counties can calculate whether the risk to their residents is low, moderate or high, according to the agency, and only high-risk areas require people to wear masks. . But unvaccinated people should wear masks even in low-risk areas, the agency said.

The widespread use of face masks in schools has been endorsed by the agency since July, regardless of the level of the virus in the community, but the new guidelines recommend wearing masks only in schools in those counties. high risk.

New guidelines are being released as the coronavirus recedes across the country. The number of cases has dropped to levels never seen before the Omicron variant spiked, and hospitalizations have plummeted. About 58,000 people are hospitalized with Covid across the country, but these numbers have dropped by about 44% in the past two weeks.

Some experts say the new guidelines are appropriate for the country’s current situation. While the number of cases nationwide remains high, “we’ve passed the surge,” said Linsey Marr, an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech. “We don’t need to operate in emergency mode anymore.”

But many places have adopted measures to limit the pandemic. Most states have relaxed regulations on mask-wearing, and some, like New Jersey, have announced plans to lift regulations even in schools. Others are getting ready to wrap up mask duties indoors in the coming weeks. An official recommendation from the CDC could sway districts that were more cautious.

According to previous CDC criteria, 95 percent of counties in the United States is considered high risk. The agency says that using the new criteria, less than 30% of Americans are living in high-risk areas.

Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC, told reporters on Friday that the new guidelines provide people with a framework to adapt precautions as virus levels change.

“We want people to pause on things like wearing masks when our levels are low, and then potentially reach them again if things get worse in the future,” she said. “We need to be prepared and we need to be ready for whatever comes next.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/health/the-cdc-releases-new-guidance-that-will-allow-localities-to-ease-masking-and-social-distancing.html CDC publishes new guidance that will allow localities to reduce cover-ups and social distancing.

Fry Electronics Team

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