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CDC to significantly ease pandemic mask guidelines Friday

Posted at 6:45 PM, Feb 24, 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will significantly loosen federal mask-wearing guidelines to protect against COVID-19 transmission on Friday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The new metrics will still consider caseloads, but also take into account hospitalizations and local hospital capacity.

Under the new guidelines, the vast majority of Americans will no longer live in areas where indoor masking in public is recommended based on current data.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that cases have dropped by 43% in cases compared to last week's seven-day average. Hospitalizations are down 30% in that same time span, according to the CDC.

More than 80% of people 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC reports.

Most states have either lifted or announced plans to lift mask mandates. Hawaii is the only state in the country that has not said when its mask mandate will be dropped.