If they are in large numbers, fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outside.
The school district in the tiny Nebraska town of Oxford abandoned its mask mandate last month in what was a surprisingly straightforward decision: Cases were down sharply, and it didn’t bug city authorities that their action violated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
Update – Mask Wearing Guidelines
Those federal mask requirements just did not appear to suit the local circumstances in the town of around 800 inhabitants, where no one wears a mask.
We have not really given a lot of thought to what’s going on at the federal and state level — mostly what’s come out of the state,” Southern Valley Superintendent Bryce Jorgensen said. “It’s impossible to equate Chicago to Oxford, Nebraska. Things are simply different.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its guidelines on the use of masks in public on Tuesday, stating that completely vaccinated Americans no longer prefer to shield their faces unless they are in a large crowd of strangers. In certain cases, people who have not been immunized will go outdoors without wearing masks.
For the majority of the past year, the CDC has advised Americans to wear masks outside if they are within 6 feet of each other.
The announcement signaled the United States government’s next push toward normalcy, but it came at a time when most of the world had already passed away from mask law. Apparently, what many Americans were doing unknowingly was has now been approved by the CDC.
On the same day as the CDC revised its recommendations, Louisiana’s governor partly removed the state’s mask mandate, becoming the first Democratic governor to do so under Joe Biden’s presidency. In other places, city authority authorities have been removing mask laws, and in certain states, face coverings are a rare sight indoors, let alone outdoors.
Judy Adams, 73, of Montgomery, Alabama, said she hasn’t worn a mask outside since the early days of the pandemic a year ago and now wears them indoors when stores need them. Alabama had a statewide mask mandate until the governor let it expire earlier this month.
“I think it’s silly and it doesn’t help,” she said of the mask law. “It’s just about power and anxiety.” It’s not about something other than power and fear.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government has failed to achieve continuity in public health policies across states. The CDC has released guidance on masks, social distancing, travel, and other practices, but it is up to governors to follow the guidelines or not. Any states never had mask mandates in place, although others still do.
“Today, I believe, is a day where we will take another leap to our previous rationality,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday. “We’ve spent a lot of time reminding Americans what they can’t do over the last year. Today, I’ll remind you about some of the stuff you can do if you’re completely vaccinated.” Retrospectively, It felt great reminding Americans what they can do once they’re vaccinated, as most of the time from last year has been involved in restricting populations due to the pandemic.
People do not need to wear masks outside while walking, biking, or running alone or with members of their household, according to the CDC, whether they are completely vaccinated or not. Unvaccinated individuals may also attend a small outdoor party of completely vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
However, unvaccinated people — all that have not yet administered two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson formula — can wear masks at small outdoor events of other unvaccinated people, according to the CDC. They should even mask their mouths while eating at outdoor restaurants with peers from different households.