More than 90 percent of Americans can go without masks: CDC

Less than 10 percent of the U.S. population are recommended to continue wearing the face masks

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Most people living in the U.S. no longer need to wear a face mask when they go into public places, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new guideline Thursday.

The updated guidance specifies that only people who live in areas with severe COVID-19 infections or hospitalization, totaling less than 10 percent of the total population, are recommended to continue wearing the face masks, NBC Washington reported.

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The other 90 percent are free to go without the masks in most circumstances, according to the report, though masks are federally required on public transportation.

Coronavirus prevention face mask protection N95 masks and medical surgical masks at home.

Coronavirus prevention face mask protection N95 masks and medical surgical masks at home. (iStock)

Those individuals who live in an area with a "high" COVID-19 community level are required to wear a mask indoors, remain up-to-date on their vaccinations, and get regularly tested, should they experience symptoms, the CDC said.

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While the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, the number of new cases from the omicron variant has decreased dramatically, according to the report.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized and mocked from all sides after a series of muddled messages have baffled Americans amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized and mocked from all sides after a series of muddled messages have baffled Americans amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant. (iStock)

President Biden teased the new guidelines during his State of the Union address Tuesday, when he said most Americans would be free of the mask requirements. 

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"With 75% of adult Americans fully vaccinated and hospitalizations down by 77%, most Americans can remove their masks, return to work, stay in the classroom, and move forward safely," the president said.