U.S. officials say most Americans live in places where healthy people can safely take a break from wearing masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday outlined a new set of measures for communities where COVID-19 is easing its grip. They focus less on positive test results and more on what’s happening at hospitals. More than 70% of the U.S. population lives in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals. Those are the people who can stop wearing masks for now. The agency is still advising that people, including schoolchildren, wear masks where the risk of COVID-19 is high. The new recommendations don’t change the requirement to wear masks on public transportation.
Photo: A product stall filled with free N95 respirator masks, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sits outside the pharmacy at this Jackson, Miss., Kroger grocery store Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)