What you need to know about the CDC’s new coronavirus guidance

People walk through Downtown Crossing in Boston on Feb. 9 as states start to drop mask mandates. (Adam Glanzman for The Washington Post)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new framework for dealing with the coronavirus Friday that eases recommendations on mask-wearing for much of the country — a move that arrives as many state and local officials had already taken such steps.

The guidelines illustrate that after more than two years of living with the virus, many communities have gained greater protection against severe illness through vaccination, treatments, better testing and higher-quality masks.

The guidance aims to allow individuals to assess personal risk based on their health status and conditions in their community, including case counts and hospital admissions and capacity. The goal is to protect people from severe illness and to prevent health-care systems from being overwhelmed.

The guidelines are intended to be flexible. The precautions can be ramped up if a new variant comes along that evades immunity conferred by vaccines and previous infections.

Here’s what you need to know: