It is premature to lift mask mandates in areas with high levels of Covid-19 spread, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday.
“It's premature if you have a level of infection in the community that is really quite high,” Fauci said in an NBC Nightly News interview. “If you pull back on masking, then you're going to wind up having a danger of peaking again.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a county to have “high” transmission if there have been 100 or more cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents or a test positivity rate of 10% or higher in the past seven days. The CDC says that significant mitigation strategies may be needed in areas where there is large scale, community transmission, including in communal settings, like schools and workplaces.
After the CDC said it is safe for people who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to stop wearing masks in most cases, multiple states have lifted or announced plans to lift mask mandates and other pandemic precautions.