Mask policy in the U.S. is changing rapidly

4 weeks ago
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Last week America took two big steps closer to a semblance of normalcy before the pandemic. It shows how quickly mask-wearing measures and other restrictions are changing in the face of vaccination.

The Food and Drug Administration expanded its approval for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 15 on the vaccination list. Also Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear masks or socially distance themselves indoors or outdoors — with some exceptions.

Authorities in states across the U.S. have announced that they are waiving the mandatory requirement to wear masks for fully vaccinated residents. Retailers and other businesses, including Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Starbucks and Publix, have also announced changes to their policies.

Mask policy in the U.S. is changing rapidly
Mask policy in the U.S.

But America may be moving too fast and not focusing enough on a key part of the CDC guidelines, experts say. “We need to emphasize the fully vaccinated in the context of changes to the mask guidelines rather than just unmasking because it’s all changing their policies a little prematurely and not having the full picture,” said infectious disease expert Jessica Malaty Rivera.