CDC: Fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks outside

The CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance for vaccinated people on Tuesday.
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People who are fully vaccinated are no longer being advised to wear a mask outdoors, unless they're in certain crowded settings and venues. 

That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated COVID-19 guidance for vaccinated people, which was released Tuesday.

Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of two-dose vaccines, like Pfizer or Moderna, and two weeks after getting their single-dose shot, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC in March began updating its COVID guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated, saying it's safe to be together indoors without masks or distancing so long as everyone has been fully vaccinated. 

And on Tuesday, the CDC released additional guidance, which has been expected for some time, and comes as nearly 30% of Americans have received all required doses of the vaccine. 

"CDC cannot provide the specific risk level for every activity in every community, so it is important to consider your own personal situation and the risk to you, your family and your community before venturing out without a mask," CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in prepared remarks, according to Axios.

The new guidance advised those who are fully vaccinated to go without masks in the following situations: 

  • When doing physical activities outdoors alone or with members of your household (i.e. walking, running, hiking or biking).
  • Attending small outdoor gatherings with other fully vaccinated people or a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
  • Dining at an outdoor restaurant with people from multiple households.

However, vaccinated people are still encouraged to wear a mask in situations that include crowded outdoor events (i.e. performances, parades and sporting events); indoor public spaces (i.e. salons, movie theaters); full capacity worship services; and uncrowded indoor shopping malls or museums.

The CDC released a chart that details the guidelines on when and where you should be wearing a mask, for both those who are fully vaccinated and those who haven't yet gotten the vaccine.

Until fully vaccinated, people should be taking the same precautions health officials have been urging since last year: wear a properly fitting mask, wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart from others and avoid large groups.

If you still need to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, you can now book appointments at Minnesota's mass vaccination sites. Pharmacies and healthcare providers are also offering vaccination appointments. Find one near you here

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