A smart metric for when to drop mask mandates

A mask and a mountain.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

The United States is "turning the corner" on COVID-19, Jeff Zients, President Biden's pandemic coordinator, said on CNN Sunday. Case and death rates are way down as vaccines become increasingly accessible. Rules are relaxing — but what about mask mandates?

As of this writing, 25 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and some cities and counties within the other 25 states still mandate public mask use. Many of those mandates are open-ended, but five states — Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia — have hit upon a metric that could be the political sweet spot.

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