To mask or not to mask? If you’ve been vaccinated, that is the question. Now that more and more Americans are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has offered more guidance to help Americans inch back to normalcy, as well as an incentive for others to get vaccinated.
The CDC announced on Tuesday that people who have been fully vaccinated can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.
“Because of the extraordinary progress we’ve made in fighting this virus and the progress our scientists have made in learning about how it gets transmitted … the CDC made an important announcement: Starting today, if you’re fully vaccinated, and you’re outdoors, you need—and not in a big crowd—you no longer need to wear a mask,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.
People are considered fully vaccinated after two weeks of their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If you don’t meet these requirements, you are not considered fully vaccinated, per CDC guidelines, and should keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
To date, roughly 97 million Americans, 29.5%, have received two doses of the vaccine. Experts estimate that 70-90% of the population in the U.S. would need to be vaccinated to effectively halt the pandemic.
If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC states that you can resume activities you may have quit because of the pandemic. The CDC advises that you consider how COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the number of people participating in the activity, and the location of the activity. Outdoor visits and activities are safer than indoor activities, and fully vaccinated people can participate in some indoor events safely, without much risk.
—Information provided in part by U.S. Centers for Disease Control.