Most of you have already heard or seen, or read news reports, but just in case you missed them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has done what it calls “easing” of mask recommendations for the nation.
One has to wonder if the “easing” has to do with rebellion in the streets, in stores, restaurants, bars and other businesses. A lot of people quit wearing them several weeks to several months ago.
As for “easing,” what it looks like depends on where you live.
The CDC says that means over 70% of the U.S. will be — if they choose — free of masks. The reason it’s not 100% is because people in areas with high COVID activity will still be required to mask up.
This includes schools.
You will — still — have to wear masks on public transportation. This is buses, trains and airplanes. Hospitals and doctors offices will also — likely, and depending on the state — require masks.
“We are in a stronger place as a nation when it comes to protecting our communities and ourselves against severe disease because of our efforts – like vaccination, improvements in testing, high quality masks, and improved ventilation – and because of living with this virus for two years,” the CDC said. “The overall risk of severe disease is now generally lower. Still, the virus will continue to circulate in our communities, and we must prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming our hospitals and healthcare systems.”
That said, the CDC asks that people be courteous of, and careful around immunocompromised and other people who are vulnerable.
“There will still be people who are at higher-risk — or those who live with people who are at risk — for COVID-19 who will want to take extra precautions, regardless of their own community status,” the CDC’s news release added.
While it’s pretty calm in COVID-land now, if things get worse in the future, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said her agency will not hesitate to reinstate masking requirements.
Three of the most strict states in terms of masking, social distancing and restrictive measures for businesses, and on person-to-person contact in public are the West Coast states of Oregon, Washington and California.
The three governors of those PIA Western Alliances states — Oregon’s Kate Brown, Washington’s Jay Inslee and California’s Gavin Newsom — started a pact when COVID first hit a couple of years ago. They have accepted the CDC ruling with reservations but are moving forward to institute de-masking in their states.
“As we learn to live with this virus, we must remain vigilant to protect each other and prevent disruption to our schools, businesses, and communities –– with a focus on protecting our most vulnerable and the people and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Brown said.
Brown is being cautious but says Oregon will officially relax its masking rules on March 11th. Governor Inslee said Washington’s most stringent requirements will also stop on March 11th.
“We’ve continued to monitor data from our state Department of Health, and have determined we are able to adjust the timing of our statewide mask requirement. While this represents another step forward for Washingtonians, we must still be mindful that many within our communities remain vulnerable,” Inslee said in a news release. “Many businesses and families will continue choosing to wear masks, because we’ve learned how effective they are at keeping one another safe. As we transition to this next phase, we will continue to move forward together carefully and cautiously.”
In California, Newsom — like Brown and Inslee — is optimistic but is also going to remain cautious.
“California continues to adjust our policies based on the latest data and science, applying what we’ve learned over the past two years to guide our response to the pandemic,” he said. “Masks are an effective tool to minimize spread of the virus and future variants, especially when transmission rates are high. We cannot predict the future of the virus, but we are better prepared for it and will continue to take measures rooted in science to keep California moving forward.”
California’s masking requirement were suspended March 1st.
Source link: The Hill —https://bit.ly/3C1SzA4
Source link: Governor Kate Brown — https://bit.ly/3hspILJ