The director of the CDC has suggested that the health agency could soon issue a new mask guidance during a news briefing Wednesday.
The change could be announced as soon as next week, as White House officials asked Walensky to provide an update by March 1, before the president’s State of the Union Address.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky suggested the mask recommendations would be based on a community’s hospitalization rates.
She added that this would allow people to take a break from wearing masks when COVID-19 case numbers improve.
However, this would not be a permanent change.
If a community’s case numbers spike up, masks will have to go back on.
Walensky said Wednesday that people should still continue to wear masks in certain situations, including when people are symptomatic or are within ten days of positive diagnosis.
The agency is still working out the details of when masks are and are not necessary.
The change in guidance will come as a number of states announce their own modifications to COVID-19 safety measures.
Last week, ten states announce they were lifting mask mandates in indoor spaces and/or schools.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed support in allowing states to make these changes as cases decrease.
“At the local level, there is a strong feeling of need to get back to normality,” said Fauci on MSNBC.