Local health expert weighs in as CDC revises mask guidelines

NEOSHO, Mo.–New guidance from The CDC is aimed at helping communities across the county get back to normal life and suggests seventy percent of Americans can stop wearing masks, as long as they live in parts of the country with low levels of disease.

They suggest that Americans living in low Covid-19 risk areas can go maskless in public. 

But the new guidelines still recommend masking in counties at high risk–and ask to reconsider how to measure the needs for things such as mask-wearing. They no longer look at only the number of cases in the community, but also look at Covid-related hospital admissions.

In Newton County, the health department has seen cases on a downward trend.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a steady decline in our cases. new cases per day were actually in the single digits. we had been in the 20s and then we went just below 20,” said Larry Bergener, Administrator for the Newton County Health Deaprtment. 

Across the country, cases are on the decline as well. 

Schoolchildren in states like California, Oregon, and Washington are no longer required to wear masks as part of new indoor mask policies. 

While guidance seems to constantly be changing, Bergener says it just has to do with numbers changing. 

 “CDC, when numbers spike, they have a tendency to go with masks and social distancing.”

Due to low cases locally, Bergner says that the new guidance is in line with newton county’s numbers. 

“I think that especially with our numbers as low as they are, that the public can be confident to go out and enjoy activities as normal without wearing a mask. certainly, if you have underlying conditions, you might want to continue to wear the mask. but overall, for healthy people, the mask would not be required.”

And while numbers have remained low for a few weeks in the county, Bergner recommends taking the time to enjoy it.

There are currently six active Covid-19 cases in Newton County.

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