Fully vaccinated people can now expose at small outdoor gatherings or while dining out with friends in multiple households. The CDC tells unvaccinated people that they must still wear a mask at such gatherings.
“If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor meeting with vaccinated and unvaccinated people, or dine with friends from multiple households in an al fresco restaurant, there is a scientifically proven way of exposing this if you are vaccinated.” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual briefing at the White House on Tuesday.
However, life will not return to full normal in people who are fully vaccinated.
Wearing a mask is recommended for fully vaccinated individuals who choose to attend a crowded outdoor event such as a live performance, parade, or sporting event.
“For vaccinated individuals, outdoor activities without a mask are generally safe. However, we still recommend masking in crowded outdoor areas and venues, such as crowded stadiums and concerts, where the ability to maintain physical distance is reduced and where there are many unvaccinated people may also be present, “said Walensky. “We will continue to recommend this until comprehensive vaccination is achieved.”
The CDC advises both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks in indoor public spaces such as a mall, movie theater, or museum.
President Joe Biden is expected to refer to the updated guidelines for wearing masks outdoors before his first address to Congress on Wednesday and to comment on the state of the pandemic on Tuesday.
One of Biden’s top coronavirus advisors, Dr. Anthony Fauci, strongly indicated to CNN that the guidelines would be updated this week. Fauci told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sunday that he didn’t want to be ahead of the CDC, but the agency would “update their guidelines on what vaccinated people and even some unvaccinated people can do”.
On Tuesday morning, before the updated mask tour was announced, U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra said on CBS This Morning that people vaccinated against Covid-19 can return to a more normal lifestyle.
“The message is clear. You are vaccinated, guess what, you can go back to a more normal lifestyle. If you aren’t vaccinated you are still at risk. You are still at risk too,” Becerra said. “So get vaccinated.”
Scientifically motivated changes
Walensky said Tuesday that the CDC was motivated to update its guidelines for fully vaccinated people after the number of people vaccinated in the US rose and the rate of Covid-19 cases fell.
“There’s growing evidence to suggest that most of the transmission is indoors rather than outdoors. In many studies, less than 10% of documented transmissions were outdoors,” said Walensky.
“We also know that the risk of transmission indoors is almost 20 times higher than outdoors. This, along with the fact that 37% of people over the age of 18 are now fully vaccinated and our case rates are now starting to decrease, which is our change.” the guidelines motivated, “said Walensky. “As more people get vaccinated and case rates continue to drop, we will provide more updates.”
New CDC guidelines contradict some state mask mandates
For some states where all face masks are required to be worn, the CDC’s new guidance could be challenging.
“Should states with external mask requirements change these to reflect these new guidelines? Is that your advice to these states and these governors?” CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked during the virtual briefing at the White House.
“What we’re saying is states that have mask requirements outdoors. When people are vaccinated, we no longer feel that the vaccinated people need masks outdoors – to the extent that they are consistent,” said Walensky.
Walensky added that masks are still recommended for fully vaccinated individuals attending large public outdoor events such as concerts or stadiums.
“A lot of that is the inability to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated,” Walensky said. “And to say that in these environments, when you have them at this density, we’re really concerned about the protection of the unvaccinated people.”
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.
Read Also :