Where the CDC recommends masking up
The CDC recommended Tuesday that fully vaccinated Americans start wearing masks indoors again in places with high Covid-19 transmission rates.
The counties in the two groups for which the CDC recommends mask-wearing combined make up 225 million Americans, according to a CNBC analysis of the agency's data, or about two-thirds of the U.S. population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in places where the virus is spreading, based on their "level of community transmission."
Specifically, the updated guidance applies to places that the CDC categorizes as having "high" and "substantial" transmission rates, as measured by a combination of case count and positivity rate thresholds.
If a county has reported 50 to 100 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period or has a positivity rate of 8% to 10%, it falls into the "substantial transmission" tier, while those reporting 100 cases or more per 100,000 or have a positivity rate of at least 10% are labeled as "high transmission." Those are the two groups for which the CDC recommends mask-wearing.
The CDC said 1,495 counties fall into the highest transmission grouping and another 548 counties in the "substantial" tier - the areas where masks should be worn inside restaurants, businesses, any public space. Those counties combined make up 225 million Americans, according to a CNBC analysis of the agency's data, or about two-thirds of the U.S. population.