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Two people have a discussion in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.

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This combination of 2022 and 2020 file photos shows logos for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, both Moderna and Pfizer will have to convince what’s essentially a science court -- advisers to the Food and Drug Administration -- that their shots work well in babies, toddlers and preschoolers. If the FDA’s advisers endorse one or both shots for them -- and the FDA agrees -- there’s still another hurdle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend whether all tots need immunization or just those at high risk from the virus. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask recommendations for the vast majority of the country, including the Berkshires, under a new framework to monitor coronavirus – a process that state and local officials had already begun amid demands for a return to normalcy.

Anticipating that kids between the ages of 5 and 11 could become eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 as soon as early November, the White House said Wednesday it is working closely with states like Massachusetts to be ready to deliver the jabs within days of the go-ahead.

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The mask guidance update from DPH comes at the end of a week that saw the CDC reverse course and recommend that vaccinated people in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission go back to wearing a mask indoors as the Delta variant surges across Massachusetts and other parts of the country.


Though the metrics remain near their recorded low points, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in Massachusetts as the delta variant…