Is it safe to unmask? See new guidance from the CDC

Is it safe to unmask? See new guidance from the CDC

Doctor and patient in masks

[2 MINREAD]

Key takeaways: 

  • New masking guidance offers flexibility depending on community transmission levels. 
  • Staff, patients and visitors must still mask in Providence facilities. 

 

As COVID-19 cases trend downward in many areas of the U.S., the CDC is offering new guidance of when you can take your mask off and when it’s important to keep it on.

The CDC is basing this new guidance on COVID-19 factors in individual communities, including new cases and hospitalizations over the last seven days. It also takes into account the percentage of available hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Communities are classified as either Low, Medium or High. You can check your community’s level here.

This new masking guidance offers flexibility for communities with lower transmission levels while continuing to keep in place safety measures in areas where transmission is higher.

It is important to know that this guidance does not apply to health care settings, like hospitals and long-term care facilities. For now, staff, patients and visitors must still mask in Providence facilities.

Here is the guidance in a nutshell:

Low (green)

  • People can choose to wear a mask based on their personal preference.

Medium (yellow)

  • People are encouraged to speak with their health care provider about precautions they should take if they are immunocompromised or at a high risk of severe disease.
  • People who live with or have social contact with someone at a high risk of severe disease should consider testing before getting together and wearing a mask when gathering indoors with them.

High (red)

  • A well-fitting mask should be worn in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.
  • People who are immunocompromised or at a high risk of severe disease should wear a mask or respirator that offers a greater level of protection.

Planning a trip? Make sure to bring your mask along because masks are still required on airplanes, in airports and other forms of public transportation and hubs. Make sure to also check your local county or state public health guidance as some areas may still be under a mask mandate.  

 

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.