The CDC’s New Guidance on Masks For Dummies

Yesterday the CDC announced you can be outdoors without a mask safely, especially if you’re fully vaccinated. Even unvaccinated people are at a low risk if they are outdoors biking, hiking or socializing in small groups. Outdoors is much safer than indoors, as Dr. Fauci calls the risk “miniscule.”

However, in public places, there is still uncertainty of transmission given that we won’t know who is vaccinated and who is not; vaccines are not 100% effective and there are documented cases of “breakthrough” infections; and crowd size matters. Masking is still recommended for crowded outdoor settings, such as sporting events or concerts where distancing is decreased, and unvaccinated people will surely be present. You may be required to wear a mask at a farmer’s market, a graduation ceremony or youth sports activities.

The CDC lists a range of settings where masking is still recommended for people who are fully vaccinated:

  • Attending a crowded outdoor event such as a live performance, parade or sporting event;
  • Visiting a barber or hair salon;
  • Visiting an indoor shopping mall or museum;
  • Riding public transport;
  • Attending a small indoor gathering with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people;
  • Going to an indoor movie theater;
  • Attending a full capacity service at a house of worship.

Check out the CDC chart that provides their full recommendations for vaccinated/unvaccinated safety. Note the color coding, and the masks.

See more at NPR.

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