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CDC urges Americans in high COVID areas to wear masks

During the White House COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky urged Americans who live in areas with high community levels of COVID to wear masks. She said Americans in areas with average COVID community levels should consider wearing masks based on their risk factors.

Video transcript

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: Our COVID-19 community levels framework looks at a set of metrics, including cases, but also hospitalizations and health system capacity. This framework has been designed to be predictive, anticipating where we will see further increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and they are intended to inform communities, local leaders and individuals on when and what measures to prevent. to implement in their local environment. .

Right now, as this map shows, more than 32% of Americans live in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 community level — the counties shown in yellow or orange. Since the previous week, an additional 8% of the US population lives in a county with a medium or high COVID-19 community level. For areas where COVID-19 community levels are currently high – those in orange – we urge local leaders to encourage the use of prevention strategies such as wearing masks in indoor public places and improving the access to tests and treatments.

For individuals, the COVID-19 Community Levels can also be used to inform personal decisions about how best to protect themselves. In areas with high community levels, everyone should use prevention measures and wear a mask in indoor public places. In areas where community levels of COVID-19 are medium in yellow, individuals should consider taking preventive measures based on their own risk, such as avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, increasing their testing, especially before congregate with others indoors. And at all levels of the COVID-19 community, individuals can still choose to wear a mask to protect themselves from infection.


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