CDC Shifts Mask Mandate: Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Go Mask-less
President Joe Biden said on Thursday, “Today is a great day for America in our long battle with coronavirus” as the CDC has said that fully vaccinated Americans can leave their masks off in most settings.
Numbers of the virus are falling and vaccinations are rising. Biden said, “The rule is very simple: Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.” The evidence is growing that vaccinations are effective even against the variants. The CDC says fully vaccinated people are at low risk to spread the virus.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor or outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing. 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.”
There are a few exceptions however, as the CDC is still recommending wearing a mask on public transportation and on planes and for people who are only partially vaccinated. About 59% of American adults have received at least one shot, while 45% have received both shots. Biden set the goal of having 70% of adults getting at least their first shot by July 4th, and he believes we will hit that mark.
Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University said, “I think it’s really important that the CDC has changed their guidance and is finally demonstrating the effectiveness of vaccines.” President Biden has continually had an optimistic outlook on the pandemic, while warning that we have a lot of work still to do. According to Biden we are now in a new phase of vaccinating Americans, focusing on rural clinics and mobile sites rather than mass vaccination areas.
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