COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The CDC has outlined new measures to determine where masks should be worn in public, and it represents a change for Columbus and most of central Ohio.
The guidelines are designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19 as the pandemic winds down while also taking into consideration areas where there is less of a threat to overwhelming hospitals.
A map shows COVID-19 community levels by county, and it does not recommend masks in areas where the threat to hospitals is at a low or medium level — only where the level is high. Masks continue to be recommended everywhere for public transportation.
In Ohio, most of the state is at a low or medium level. Only 15 of the state’s 88 counties are at a high level: a cluster in west-central Ohio and several on or near the Ohio River in the southern and eastern parts of the state.
In central Ohio, these counties are at medium level:
In central Ohio, these counties are at low level:
Counties with high transmission, where masks would still be recommended, are Morgan, Ross and Pike.
The CDC color-coded its nationwide county map as green for low, yellow for medium and red for high. The full map can be viewed here.
Despite the recommendation, Columbus and a handful of communities in Franklin County have public mask orders in place, but mayors have indicated that they are in the process of being reviewed. Shortly after the CDC changed its mask recommendations, Whitehall announced it would end its mask order effective Monday.