States from New York to California are lifting indoor mask mandates as new cases of COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant begin to subside.
The push to loosen masking requirements has since extended to private companies and even major festivals and events. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday said the agency is reviewing its indoor masking guidance, hinting that any changes would likely be tied to local hospitalization rates.
Cases have plunged from 455,000 a day two weeks ago to 150,000 on Monday. COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen 45% from the peak one month ago and are now at levels similar to when the country was coming out of the delta variant surge in September. And nearly 65% of Americans are fully vaccinated.
Still, the lifting or loosening of masking guidance will vary depending on state and local regulations surrounding the issue.
Here are some companies and events that have lifted mask mandates:
As of last week, Amazon will no longer require fully vaccinated workers to don masks in stores or warehouses unless required under local or state laws.
“There has been a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases across the country over the past weeks,” Amazon told workers in a memo. “Along with increasing vaccination rates across the country, this is a positive sign we can return to the path to normal operations.”
Goldenvoice, the music production company behind California’s massive music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach, will no longer require masks, a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination to attend the events, according to announcements on the health and safety section of both websites.
The state’s indoor mask mandate officially lifted on Wednesday, although some cities opted to keep theirs in place; the state also revised its attendance threshold for outdoor “mega-events” from 5,000 to 10,000. Outdoor events are recommended, although not required, to ask attendees for proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.
However, both Coachella and Stagecoach's websites note that entry guidelines “may change at any time” reflecting the current situation or upon new orders from the state or federal governments.
“[S]uch requirements may include, without limitation, changes to capacity, attendance procedures and entry requirements, such as proof of vaccination and/or negative COVID-19 test, and other protective measures such as requiring attendees to wear face coverings,” the statement reads in part.
Coachella takes place across two weekends; this year’s event will occur on April 15 - 17 and April 22 - 24. Stagecoach will take place from April 29 - May 1.
Vaccinated visitors at California’s Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will no longer be required to wear face coverings, beginning Thursday. Unvaccinated visitors over the age of two years old must still wear masks in indoor locations.
“Face coverings are required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, in certain indoor settings including Disney shuttles and in health settings, such as in First Aid,” the new guidelines add in part. "Face coverings are optional for guests in outdoor areas."
Also beginning Thursday, vaccinated visitors to Florida’s Disney World will be able to shed their masks in both indoor and outdoor settings.
“Face covering will be optional for fully vaccinated Guests in both outdoor and indoor locations,” a notice from the park read in part.
In a letter sent to employees on Tuesday, Tyson Foods’ senior vice president of health and safety, Tom Brower, announced the company would “take the first steps to ease mask mandates for some employees effective immediately.”
The new guidance has a couple of conditions: it is subject to state and local guidelines and applies only to fully-vaccinated workers at certain facilities not inspected by the Department of Agriculture or the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Employees at distribution centers, feed mills and certain production facilities can remove their masks at work, should they so choose.
“We’re also working to identify a process that would allow team members at facilities inspected by USDA/FSIS to operate under the new policy and remove masks if they choose to do so,” Brower’s memo added.
Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, announced last week to its roughly 1.6 million employees they no longer have to wear masks in states or cities that do not have indoor mask mandates, so long as they are vaccinated. Unvaccinated workers must continue to wear masks.
The new guidance applies for both Sam’s Club and Walmart employees.
"Though vaccinated associates are no longer required to wear a mask in our facilities, we support and respect an individual's choice to continue wearing one," the company said in a memo, per CBS News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.