President Joe Biden announced last week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued new guidance on the wearing of masks, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden said those who have been fully vaccinated, in most cases won’t need to wear masks — whether indoors or out, in large crowds or small.
Specifically, the CDC’s updated guidance says:
- Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
- Fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.
CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers, including those who are vaccinated. All travelers are required to wear a mask on all planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations, the CDC’s website says.
Those who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to continue wearing masks, to avoid becoming infected by COVID-19, or spreading it to others, CDC officials add.
While there has been a downturn in the daily number of people getting vaccinated, use of the Pfizer vaccine has been granted emergency authorization for those ages 12 to 15.
The CDC’s latest guidance comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order lifting restrictions imposed by local governments, with the exception of school districts.
The public schools districts in Pasco and Hillsborough counties both announced they would keep the mask mandate until the end of the school year.
Private businesses can decide whether to retain or drop their mask requirements, and so far, the response has been varied.
Also, while the pace of vaccinations for adults has declined, efforts continue to reach out to those who are hesitant about being vaccinated to answer their questions and address their concerns.
While fewer children have been infected by COVID-19, the CDC does recommend vaccination for everyone age 12 and older to help protect against COVID-19.
Published May 19, 2021