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CDC to announce new face mask recommendations

What to know as the CDC reworks its mask recommendations and advice

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A sign requiring masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus is posted on a storefront in Philadelphia.

A sign requiring masks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus is posted on a store front in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. The CDC is revising its mask recommendations.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwill loosen COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations for face masks Friday.

What’s happening: The CDC will make a change to weigh metrics like hospital capacity and COVID-19 admissions instead of COVID-19 case numbers, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The CDC’s intent is to make it so “more people can feel comfortable going maskless in indoor public spaces,” per The Washington Post.

Catching up quick: Experts have been discussing the CDC changing its mask mandate as COVID-19 cases continue to dwindle across the U.S.

Yes, but: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that masks were an important way to stop the spread, even as cases dwindled.

  • “We must consider hospital capacity as an additional important barometer. We want to give people a break from things like mask wearing when these metrics are better and then have the ability to reach for them again should things worsen,” she said.