More than 90% of the U.S. population can ditch their masks due to the new guidance set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What happened: The CDC issued new guidance last week that new face mask recommendations would be based on hospitalizations and severe disease more than anything else.

  • On Thursday, the CDC suggested that less than 10% of the population lived in areas that would require face masks, per CNBC.

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

CDC drops COVID-19 masking recommendations for most of the country
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What they’re saying: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that face masks were an important way to stop the spread of COVID-19, even as COVID-19 cases drop.

  • “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.