Recent declines in Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalization rates across the United States has led the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review guidance on mitigation measures, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual White House briefing Wednesday.
"We certainly understand the need and desire to be flexible," Walensky said Wednesday.
"Cases and hospitalizations are falling. This is, of course, encouraging and that leads us of course to look at all of our guidance," Walensky said. "At this time, we continue to recommend masking in areas of high and substantial transmission. That's much of the public right now."
Walensky added later in the briefing that the agency is working to update its guidance on mask-wearing.
"We are working on that guidance. We are working on following the trends for the moment," Walensky said, adding that even though hospitalizations and death rates are still high, "we are encouraged by the current trends."
When pressed in a follow-up question by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins if Americans should follow guidance from the CDC or that of governors — like Phil Murphy of New Jersey, John Carney of Delaware, or Kathy Hochul of New York, who’ve announced rollbacks of some indoor mask requirements in their respective states — Walensky said decisions would continue to be made "at the local level."
"As I understand it, in many of these decisions, are using a phased approach — not all of these decisions are being made to stop things tomorrow, but they’re looking at a phased approach. And so, what I would say is again, they have to be done at the local level," Walensky said, adding she was "really encouraged" by the decline in cases and hospitalizations and that the CDC was still "working on our guidance," with respect to masks.