Amid plummeting COVID-19 rates, the Biden administration eased its indoor mask recommendations Friday for about 70 percent of Americans, including most schoolchildren — a shift that could hasten the end of mask mandates in the United States.
Before Friday, more than 96 percent of U.S. counties were considered areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended masking in most indoor settings.
Now just 37.3 percent of counties fall into that category, according to Greta Massetti, an epidemiologist on the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Incident Management Team. In the coming weeks, that number will continue to drop as America’s winter Omicron wave recedes.
A discarded surgical mask
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