Tuesday night the CDC updated their recommendations, recommending that people in more than 3,200 counties — or 99 percent of the country — should be wearing masks regardless of their vaccination status. The data does not support lifting all mask mandates.
California will lift its universal mask mandate for indoor public places next week, state officials announced Monday. (They still will be required indoors for unvaccinated residents and for everyone in select settings, such as nursing homes or while aboard public transit. And don’t even think of getting on a plane without one.)
Other States are also lifting school mask mandates, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, and Delaware.
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations dropping and a vaccine for children under five about to be approved, many States are expected to let mask mandates expire.
But for those who are immune-compromised, experts recommend you still mask up, and the CDC encourages you to keep wearing a mask indoors if you live in an area with either elevated new case rates or higher Covid test positivity rates.
Dr. Pedro Piedra, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, put it this way:
“I understand perfectly well that we’re trying to go back to having a normal society, but the truth is that this virus came not at our request,” Piedra said. “It came, and it has had a huge societal impact in terms of death and hospitalization in the U.S. and many other countries.”