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Masks Now Optional for 90% of US As Risk Lessens: CDC

New metrics for measuring the threat of COVID-19 show that more than 90% of people in the United States now live in counties with a low to medium threat and generally don't need to wear face masks anymore, the CDC said Thursday.

Last week, the CDC said it would start looking at COVID-19 risk in communities by focusing on pandemic-related hospital strain rather than case numbers alone. On Thursday, the agency released a color-coded map showing mostly green and yellow counties that indicate low to medium "community levels." High-level counties were colored red.

"As of March 3, more than 90% of the U.S. population is in a location with low or medium COVID-19 Community Level," the CDC said Thursday on its website. "Going forward this data will be updated on Thursdays. This data will help counties make informed decisions and take appropriate public health actions."

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