CDC urges for the first time that Americans wear masks indoors

The CDC on Friday for the first time recommended that people wear masks at all times when they’re not home, saying the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has entered a phase of “high level transmission.”

The guidance, included in a new report, advised state and local officials to impose mask mandates for indoor settings as part of broader mitigation efforts to control the spread of the virus. It echoes President-elect Joe Biden’s call for mask orders that a number of red state governors have rejected.

The context: This is the first time the CDC has recommended universal mask-wearing, including indoors. The agency for months has endorsed face coverings, and in July released a study touting their effectiveness in community settings to reduce transmission of the virus.