(RxWiki News) Under new guidelines from federal health officials, most Americans can take off their masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently adjusted its face mask guidelines as the rate of new COVID cases was falling rapidly.
Now, healthy people who live in areas where COVID-19 transmission is not high can go without a mask, according to the CDC.
At the time of publication, that new guidance meant that the majority of Americans could ditch the mask at least for now. Of course, if transmission increases, these guidelines may change.
The new CDC guidance takes a closer look at the local situation in hospitals rather than a close focus on the overall number of positive tests, according to the Associated Press. This suggests that the agency is more concerned with serious cases rather than total cases.
People still must wear masks inside airports and on public transportation, and individual businesses, cities and states can set their own mask rules.
It's also important to note that the newly relaxed mask guidelines from the CDC are for healthy Americans. If you have certain risk factors or illnesses, you may still need to wear a mask in public.
While immunity from vaccinations and past illnesses is on the rise and new treatments for COVID-19 are being approved, COVID-19 remains a significant health threat. Vaccination remains the most effective prevention tool, but masks can still help slow the spread of COVID-19 — particularly in high-risk indoor areas.
If you are unsure about whether you should wear a mask, reach out to your health care provider.