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CDC says Americans should wear masks in nearly 70% of U.S. counties

A protective mask is seen on a window during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., April 26, 2020. (REUTERS)

WASHINGTON  – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that 69.3% of U.S. counties had transmission rates of COVID-19 high enough to warrant indoor masking in public spaces and should immediately resume the policy.

The transmission rate was up from 66.6% as of Wednesday. In total, 52.2% of U.S. counties have high COVID-19 community transmission rates and 17.1% have substantial rates, the CDC said.

Substantial transmission means at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, while high transmission is more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the last week.

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday that effective at 5 a.m. Saturday she was mandating masks in all indoor public spaces.

In May, the CDC said fully vaccinated Americans did not need to wear masks indoors in most places but it reversed course in the face of the Delta variant’s rapid transmission rates.

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