Biden Administration to Relax Outdoor Mask Guidelines

Lawrence Kim
April 27, 2021

During a Facebook live chat with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) last August, Fauci advised people to "get as much outdoors as you possibly can", noting that "superspreader" events nearly always happen indoors in places like "nursing homes, meat-packing, prisons, choirs in churches, congregations of weddings and other social events where people get together".

The CDC stressed this guidance is meant to supplement state and local health measures with which camps must comply, and its implementation should be tailored to the specific needs of each community. Masks should not be worn while eating, drinking or swimming, the guidance notes.

For that reason, the guidance says that camps must continue prevention measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing even after employees have been fully vaccinated. There should be "at least 6 feet physical distance between campers and staff, and at least 6 feet between campers in different cohorts". "Cohorting should not replace other prevention measures, including wearing masks".

Data has also piled up to show that outdoor spread of coronavirus is rare, while indoors, without good ventilation, the risk remains high, whether you are six or 60 feet apart from other people, a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology study claimed. That distance should double to six feet while eating and drinking.

"But when you look around at the common sense situation, the risk is really low, especially if you're vaccinated", he added.

It also suggests modifying a number of activities and traditions for safety's sake, such as avoiding group activities where distance can not be maintained, limiting nonessential visits from other individuals and organizations, and performing activities such as singing and chanting outdoors only.

Nap time mats used for younger campers should be sanitized before and after use, according to the guidance, and spaced out "as much as possible". Campers should be placed head-to-toe during naps to maximize distance between their faces. The guidance recommends disposable masks or cloth masks with two or more layers of fabric, and says they should be stored properly and washed regularly. Campers from the same household, however, can be seated together.

While fewer children have gotten sick with COVID-19 than adults, the CDC explains, they can still get infected and spread the virus to others.

Throughout camps, children and staff members should be screen for coronavirus symptoms in an effort to limit transmission, according to the CDC, and tests should be conducted if there is significant community transmission in the area - though the agency does not delineate a threshold when that should occur. But as an increasing number of people in the USA are getting vaccinated against COVID-more than half of adults now have at least one shot-many of us are hoping we'll be able to go mask-free soon.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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