CDC Says Fully-Vaccinated Americans Don’t Need To Wear Masks Outdoors

Fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a face mask in outside settings, except in crowded settings, according to the updated guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday related to the coronavirus.

In a White House Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said the new guidelines were backed by science — and that data showed there are “many situations” where fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask, “particularly if they are outdoors.”

“Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before,” Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you than those who are not yet fully vaccinated.”

Walensky explained that individuals who have been fully vaccinated, or those that passed 14 days post-second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks past the Johnson & Johnson one-dose jab, can also already attend small outdoor gatherings with people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated, or even dine with friends from multiple households without a mask. 

On it’s own website, CDC also announced the guidelines for fully-vaccinated individuals — mainly revolving around the use of face masks in outside settings.

“Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues,” the new guideline said.

It also clarified that “fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.”

“Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure,” the CDC added, noting that “fully vaccinated asymptomatic people without an exposure may be exempted from routine screening testing, if feasible.”

Walensky on the briefing noted this is the third update that the CDC has issued for fully vaccinated individuals. 

CDC still encourage precaution

Nonetheless, she noted that the agency still recommends that fully-vaccinated individuals “take precautions” while in indoor public settings like wearing a well-fitted mask and avoiding indoor large-sized in-person gatherings. 

“Wear masks that fit snuggly when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease,” CDC wrote, adding that Americans should also done well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households.

Health experts throughout the pandemic have said that the risk of transmitting the coronavirus outdoors is much lower than indoors. 

“CDC cannot provide the specific risk level for every activity in every community, so it is important to consider your own personal situation and the risk to you, your family and your community before venturing out without a mask,” Walensky added.

The CDC website noted that for the purposes of the new guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for Covid-19 “2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson).

“This guidance applies to Covid-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines” the agency said, adding that the guidance can also be applied to Covid-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

As of Tuesday, CDC data showed that nearly 30% of the US population has been fully vaccinated and more than 42% have received at least one dose jab.

Over a dozen governors have reportedly allowed their state orders requiring people to wear face coverings in public to expire. 

Kentucky residents are no longer required to wear masks at outdoor events with fewer than 1,000 people. Meanwhile, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said last week he is looking to “lift some restrictions” by the end of April.

Many cities across the country have also begun to increase capacity at restaurants and other business premises as the vaccination rollout ramps up.

In his Easter Sunday message, Democratic President Joe Biden said participating in the country’s vaccination program against Covid-19  is a “moral obligation.” 

Steeve Strange

Steeve is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Scoop.

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