CDC Says Many in DC Area Can Stop Wearing Masks

The new guidelines come as many local jurisdictions loosen indoor mask mandates

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Most healthy Americans living in areas where COVID-19 community transmission is low can take a break from wearing masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new guidance issued Friday.

The CDC outlined a new set of measures called COVID-19 community levels, which range from low to high, to help communities determine how to best prevent infection. A color-coded map of the country's counties shows the level each county is designated.

Most counties in the D.C. area are in the green, or low, category. (Credit: CDC)

Green counties correspond to low transmission and residents can choose to wear a mask based on their own personal preference. Local officials in green counties can also drop indoor masking mandates.

Yellow corresponds with medium transmission. The CDC recommends people who are immunocompromised to remain cautious and consider masking indoors.

Orange counties are those with high transmission rates. The CDC suggests universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status.

The agency's new recommendations do not change the requirement to wear masks on public transportation or inside airports, train stations and bus stations. The CDC also said people who are sick, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or test positive should not stop wearing masks.


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According to that guidance, many people who live in the D.C. area no longer need to wear masks indoors.

Here's how each jurisdiction in the D.C. region was categorized as of Friday evening:

DC: Low


  • Baltimore County: Low
  • Calvert County: Low
  • Carroll County: Low
  • Charles County: Low
  • Frederick County: Low
  • Howard County: Low
  • Montgomery County: Low
  • Prince George's County: Low
  • St. Mary's County: Low
  • Washington County: Medium


  • Arlington County: Low
  • Culpeper County: High
  • Fairfax County: Low
  • Fauquier County: Low
  • Frederick County: High
  • Fredericksburg County: Medium
  • Loudoun County: Low
  • Prince William County: Low
  • Spotsylvania County: Medium
  • Stafford County: Medium
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