SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Friday, the Centers for Disease Control announced the new metrics used to determine whether a mask should be used indoors will now take into account hospitalizations, local hospitalization capacity, and new COVID-19 cases.
Those metrics will be used to create three levels of risk:
- Low: Indoor masks are not needed
- Medium: People who are at high risk of severe COVID should consult with their doctor about prevention measures, including masks
- High: Indoor mask use is recommended
The new map shows the north part of San Diego County at medium risk and the south part at high risk.
Dr. Rebecca Fielding-Miller with UC San Diego's School of Public Health believes that may be because the south part of the county is where many essential workers live.
"In some ways, what you're seeing is a map of who has the ability to stay home and keep themselves safe and who doesn't," she said.
Fielding-Miller said she agrees with the new guidance to some extent.
"I like that it's simplified. I like that it encourages people to get the vaccine and masks, but I wish there were more structural things being done to protect everybody at once and didn't rely on individual choices," Fielding-Miller said.
Fielding-Miller said if the CDC is going to focus more on COVID hospitalizations, it's important to consider who is being hospitalized.
"We have to name the fact that it's people who are immunocompromised. that it's disproportionately likely to be people of color, people who are poor," she said.
As for air travel, the CDC said masks are still required. Walensky said they're still considering whether to let the mask mandate for public transportation expire on March 18 or extend it.