The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said masks should be worn indoors for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in almost 70 percent of U.S. counties.
The CDC said Thursday 69.3 percent of U.S. counties have high enough coronavirus transmissions to the point where masks should be worn regardless of vaccine status, Reuters reported.
The number of counties recommended to wear masks comes days after the CDC changed guidance to tell vaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors in areas with high or substantial transmission rates.
CDC data shows 52 percent of counties have high transmission of the virus, or more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in the past week.
A little more than 17 percent of counties have substantial transmission or more than 50 cases per 100,000 people in the past week.
The CDC can only recommend when individuals should wear masks, as states are deciding whether to heed the new guidance.
Some Democrat-led states such as California are taking the guidance and implementing mask mandates indoors while other Republican-led states are rejecting the recommendation and letting residents decide for themselves.
As the CDC is recommending masks for everyone again in large parts of the country, mask sales have risen by 24 percent in the past week.