When to mask up: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines today on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a large crowd of strangers. CDC officials say the decision was driven by rising vaccination numbers; declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths; and research showing that less than 10% of documented instances of transmission of the virus happened outdoors. See the new guidelines.
Near record: The U.S. exported more energy in 2020 than it imported for the second consecutive year. Energy exports, including petroleum, natural gas and coal, topped imports by 3.4 quadrillion British thermal units in 2020, the Energy Department said today, according to The Houston Chronicle. U.S. exports totaled 23.4 quadrillion British thermal units in 2020, nearly matching the record high set in 2019, while energy imports fell 13% to 20 quadrillion Btu, the lowest level since 1992. Read the full report.
Discussion: Nationally acclaimed journalist Soledad O’Brien and actor Lamman Rucker are joining Mayor Sharon Weston Broome this week to promote Voices, a new short film based on the personal stories of Baton Rouge college students whose lives are deeply impacted by racism, police brutality and the pandemic. Broome, O’Brien and Rucker will discuss the film, adapted to screen by BRCC Professor Clarence Nero, during an event airing on Bayou Soul Youth Literary Conference’s Facebook page on Thursday at 6 p.m.. Get more information here