The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday released updated guidance on wearing masks that will allow you to do away with them in most settings – provided you are fully vaccinated.
The new guidelines still call for wearing masks in crowded places such as buses, airplanes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but otherwise loosen restrictions. Under the new guidelines, “anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor events without a mask or social distancing,” even if there is a crowd of people.
Exceptions are places where wearing a mask is required by federal, state, local or territorial laws, rules and regulations. Immunocompromised individuals are advised to first discuss not wearing a mask with their physician. In making the decision, the CDC pointed to additional data over the past few weeks that show the vaccines are effective, resist different strains of the virus and make it unlikely to be transmitted through vaccinated people. Dr. Rochelle Walenski, director of the CDC, made the announcement Thursday at a White House briefing.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, you can start doing what you stopped doing because of the pandemic. – she said – We’ve all waited a long time for this moment.” To date, about 154 million Americans – more than 46% of the population – have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 117 million are fully vaccinated.