The number of Americans who should be masking while indoors in public is on the decline, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels, nearly 24% of the population should be masking while indoors. Almost 48% of the U.S. should consider masking while inside public spaces based on their risk for severe COVID-19.
The total percentage of people who should be masking or considering the measure – close to 72% of the U.S. population – has been declining for weeks. Last week, the number was 78%, while the week before that it was 82%.
The declining percentages come as new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are also decreasing, suggesting that the latest coronavirus wave in the U.S. has peaked. The U.S. is averaging about 90,000 new cases a day, which is down from nearly 130,000 a day one month ago.
However, the vast majority of the country – 91% of counties – remains in an area of “high” COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC.
But the omicron subvariant BA.5 appears to be plateauing in the U.S. Data from the CDC shows that it has remained steady at about 88% of new cases over the past three weeks.
Updated coronavirus booster shots targeting BA.5 and BA.4 are expected to roll out in the U.S. in the coming weeks. Both Moderna and Pfizer this week asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize such shots, which the Biden administration has pushed as having the potential to protect against infection as well as against severe disease.