The CDC guidance update announced last Thursday afternoon that masks for vaccinated individuals will no longer be required, indoors or outdoors, in most settings. In healthcare settings such as hospitals and doctors’ offices and on public transportation, however, masks should still be worn.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
As of May 12, more than 151 million Americans had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 116 million people are considered fully vaccinated according to the CDC’s data. President Biden announced that this administration’s goal is to have 70% of people receive at least one dose of a vaccine by July 4. Back in March, Texas lifted its mask and capacity limits although most businesses still require masks in their individual establishments. As of right now, the vaccines are available to any adult who wants them without an appointment in most areas. The FDA recently approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, opening the opportunity for millions more to be vaccinated in the coming months.
The Texas Rangers have had a full capacity (Approximately 40,000 seats) stadium for the entire 2021 MLB season which began in April. The neighboring AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, recently hosted a championship boxing match with approximately 65,000 people in attendance. As time goes on and more people are vaccinated, additional cities are expected to ease restrictions on masking and capacity limits. However, it may take some time before most of the population is comfortable enough not to wear masks in places we are now so accustomed to doing so. While ultimately it is the choice of the individual whether or not to wear the mask, the CDC by issuing this new guidance is now saying that it is safe in the majority of instances to go without masks.
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