Fully vaccinated people now can safely remove masks in certain outdoor situations, according to new coronavirus guidance this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced the new relaxed guidance earlier this week. The new guidelines pertain to individuals who received both required Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 shots or the single Johnson & Johnson shot at least 14 days prior. She urged those who have been hesitant to get vaccinated to improve prospects for being able to resume more pre-pandemic activities.
Walensky said the relaxation comes as infections, hospital admissions and deaths have begun to decrease nationally due to increased vaccinations.
According to the update on the CDC website:
- Outdoor visits and activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people themselves or those around them.
- Small, private gatherings and visits to public indoor spaces likely represent minimal risk to fully vaccinated people. Therefore, the level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people present, who remain unprotected against COVID-19.
- In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and follow any applicable workplace or school guidance.
- Masks should continue to be worn in crowded outdoor settings such as sporting events.
- Fully vaccinated people should not visit or attend a gathering or visit public settings if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status of the other people at the gathering.
Click here for a full summary of the latest CDC advice regarding masks.