The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has just released major new guidance on mask-wearing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new guidance, announced Tuesday afternoon, April 27, people who are fully vaccinated and who are outdoors no longer have to wear masks if they are gathered in small groups.
Masks should still be worn at heavily attending outdoor gatherings, including concerts and sports events, where social distancing is not possible, the CDC said.
It is also safe for those fully vaccinated to return to several activities inside, including attending religious services, exercise classes, but mask-wearing is still advised until more Americans are fully vaccinated.
The news comes as more states are loosening COVID restrictions. A total of 26 states still have mask mandates in place.
"If you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you than those who are not fully vaccinated," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walinsky said.
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after 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
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