New Mask Guidance from the CDC

New Mask Guidance from the CDC

The CDC relaxed guidelines Thursday for wearing masks and social distancing indoors in a decision with major implications.

The new guidance allows fully vaccinated people to safely stop wearing masks and maintaining a certain distance from others inside most places.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the second Pfizer or Moderna shot or the same amount of time after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The rules will still call for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings such as buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but could ease restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools. In addition, the agency will no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds, possibly allowing for bigger capacities at sporting events.

The new recommendations from the CDC could also serve as an incentive for the tens of millions of eligible Americans who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to get their shots.

Already, just about any adult in the country can get vaccinated whenever they want, and maybe claim a prize. In New Orleans, a jab can get you a bucket of crawfish; in Ohio it could be $1 million.

Vaccine hesitancy remains an issue. Prince Harry called out comedian Joe Rogan for suggesting on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that young, healthy adults need not get vaccinated. “You’ve got to be careful about what comes out of your mouth,” said the British prince on the “Armchair Expert” podcast that was released Thursday.

Also starting Thursday, youths 12 and up across most of the nation can get vaccinated. CVS Health is among providers ready with the shots, announcing that kids can begin scheduling vaccine appointments at more than 5,600 pharmacy locations nationwide.

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