New Mask Guidelines from the CDC
What exactly are the new guidelines?
This past week, the CDC released some new data and guidelines on mask wearing. Over the past few months, states around the country have made the change to drop the mask mandate in public spaces. This move was widely attributed to the mass vaccine distribution and mobilization which has left 96 million Americans fully vaccinated. Although controversial at first, the most recent CDC data supports the changes in the mask mandate, but there is a catch to it.
This catch is that you must be fully vaccinated. You must also be in a small gathering, and outside.
The data specifically suggests that transmission of COVID-19 in outdoor settings is much lower than what was originally estimated early on in the pandemic. For people who are unvaccinated or are only partially vaccinated, masking up is still recommended and highly encouraged. For all people, regardless of vaccination status, it is still recommended that you wear a mask in all indoor settings in order to reduce transmission.
It is also important to remember that even if you did get your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, you are not technically fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after you receive your second dose, this two week period is also the same for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. So, this new mask update doesn't apply to you until two weeks after your final vaccine.
With this new mask update, this should not be mistaken for the pandemic being over. Yes, we are nearing the home-stretch, but it is still crucial that we are staying vigilant by hand-washing, staying physically distant from people who are not our close contacts, and staying home if we are feeling unwell. Check out this helpful graphic below from the CDC to see when and where you should be wearing a mask based on your vaccination status!
To learn more about the latest data and information, check out the CDC website.