CDC lays out new guidance for vaccinated people who wear masks inside

do we need to wear masks inside
Photo via Marco Verch Professional Photographer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A few weeks after the CDC said vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks while outside in most instances, the center has a new answer to this question: Do we need to wear masks while inside?

According to the CDC, the answer is no. For the most part.

As reported by the Washington Post, the CDC now says that Americans who have received both vaccines or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson version can live without masks or social distancing. As the newspaper writes, that paves “the way for a full reopening of society” while representing “a huge shift symbolically and practically for pandemic-weary Americans.”

“The science is clear: If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic,” the CDC said in a statement released on May 13.

COVID death numbers in the U.S. are at the lowest rate since October 2020, and more than 115 million have been fully vaccinated (about 35% of the population). Now that kids between the ages of 12-15 can get the Pfizer vaccine, millions of more Americans will soon be inoculated.

If all goes right, the number of coronavirus cases and the deaths caused by COVID should continue to drop in the U.S.

But don’t throw away all of your face coverings just yet. In some cases, we still need to wear masks while inside.

As the New York Times noted, all people should wear a mask when going to the doctor, nursing homes, or hospitals. The mask mandate will also remain if you’re traveling by plane, bus, or train. And if a business continues to require a mask, individuals are obliged to follow those rules.

Yet, the new guidance, which comes 14 months into the pandemic, is expected to be liberating to millions of people.

“We’ve got to liberalize the restrictions so people can feel like they’re getting back to some normalcy,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the face of the Biden administration’s COVID team, told the Times. “Pulling back restrictions on indoor masks is an important step in the right direction.”

As always, if you feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask, do what’s best for your physical and mental health.

Read more on the coronavirus vaccines:

Sources: Washington Post, New York Times

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