The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now urging roughly one-third of Americans to wear masks indoors.
At a White House press briefing on Wednesday, CDC officials expressed concern that COVID-19 infections might increase in the coming months.
According to the Associated Press (AP), higher risk areas in the Northeast and Midwest hold about one-third of the U.S. population.
CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walenski said at the briefing,
“Prior increases of infections, in different waves of infection, have demonstrated that this travels across the country.”
She continued, calling on local leaders to get community cooperation on COVID-19 prevention efforts saying,
“We urge local leaders to encourage use of prevention strategies like masks in public indoor settings and increasing access to testing and treatment.”
However, CDC officials gave no official projections to how widespread any future outbreaks might be, yet did mention that a factor in the spread is how well those previously infected will be protected against new variants, writes the AP.
The CDC press statement is not a mandate, as citizens are still under the governance of local and state law.
The Center for Disease Control establishes Low, Medium, and High COVID-19 Community Levels, as reported from data by local public health agencies.
A tool at their website allows visitors to search COVID-19 Community Levels by county. For individuals, the CDC recommends the following for High COVID-19 Community Levels:
- Wear a mask indoors in public
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- People at high risk for severe illness may take additional precautions
- Getting tested if you have symptoms
The U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) has the Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19 resource on their website to help find your local COVID-19 testing facility.