As COVID cases continue to fall, mask mandates are being lifted. Some people want to know where they should still wear masks and where it’s OK to take them off.
There appear to be three camps when it comes to wearing masks: The non-believers, the genuinely concerned, and the middle group who don’t really know the best answer.
To help, the CDC has created a simple way for anyone to figure out their local risk. While it’s not perfect, they have clearly invested time and thought into building something useful to provide guidance to help us all move forward.
The risk level is determined by the CDC in every county in the U.S. by factoring in the rate of new cases, the rate of new COVID hospital admissions, and the percentage of hospital beds being used to treat COVID patients.
Areas are given a low, medium, or high level of community risk. Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties are all green (low risk) -- while St. Clair County is still orange (high risk) and Washtenaw County is yellow (medium risk).
Green means masks are optional and dependent on your personal situation. Yellow means if you are at high risk for severe illness you should talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions. Orange means it’s time to wear a mask indoors in public.
Courtesy and civility go a long way. Masking isn’t always necessary anymore and the CDC is providing tools to help people know when to raise their guard. Keep in mind that if someone wants to wear a mask they may have a medical reason that isn’t obvious to you. That’s their choice.