The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 25 dramatically eased its COVID-19 guidelines for masks, including in schools, a move that means 72% of the population reside in communities where indoor face coverings are no longer recommended.

The CEO of Maryland-based Novavax believes U.S. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine could happen “within weeks.”

President Joe Biden said on February 18 the U.S. national emergency declared in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended beyond March 1 due to the ongoing risk to public health posed by the coronavirus.

With the Omicron surge waning – at least in the United States – there is speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic may be in its end stages, although some experts warn that this could be premature.

Washington, D.C. will no longer require people show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter many businesses beginning on February 15, its mayor said, joining a slew of local leaders who are dialing back pandemic restrictions as the Omicron wave ebbs.

The World Health Organization indicated WHO is tracking four Omicron subvariants: BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3. BA.2 has a growth advantage over BA.1, the variant responsible for the recent Omicron surge.

The New York Stock Exchange is withdrawing its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people effective immediately, a source said on February 11, after several large U.S. banks also dropped their mask requirements at their U.S. offices.

Walmart Inc. informed staff on February 11 that fully vaccinated workers in the United States will no longer be required to wear masks in the company’s facilities, effective immediately, unless required by a state or local mandate.

U.S. President Joe Biden on February 10 said mask requirements for children would likely to start to fall away given federal plans to begin vaccinating children under the age of 5, but said it was probably premature to drop COVID mask requirements entirely.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is ending her state’s mask mandate for most indoor public places, The New York Times reported, joining several states due to lift face-covering rules as the latest COVID-19 surge eases.