People vaccinated against COVID-19 can go outside without masks, CDC says

Lawrence Kim
April 28, 2021

CDC updated masking guidance for unvaccinated individuals as well - noting that even those who are unvaccinated can now "walk, run or bike outdoors with members of your household" and an unvaccinated individual can "attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends" without a face covering.

Fully vaccinated people can safely engage in outdoor activities like walking and hiking without wearing masks but should continue to use face-coverings in public spaces where they are required, USA health regulators said on Tuesday.

She said while the agency will be looking at the masks outdoors question, they are also cognizant that more than 50,000 Americans a day are testing positive for COVID-19 and thousands are still dying. They also should keep using masks at outdoor restaurants.

CDC continues to recommend masking for crowded outdoor events such as parades and sporting events and indoor visits to the hair salon, shopping malls, movie theaters and houses of worship. As CDC Director Rochelle Walensky noted in announcing the update, it is hard to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in a crowded setting.

Currently, the CDC recommends that fully-vaccinated people still take precautions like wearing masks, staying six-feet apart, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces "until we know more".

Fully vaccinated, unmasked people can gather with others whether vaccinated or not.

Walensky cited "increasing data" that more transmission is happening indoors than outdoors.

A November review in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that the odds of viral transmission are 18.7 times greater indoors than out, and less than 10% of Covid-19 infections studied occurred outside. "We also know there's nearly a 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting rather than the outdoor setting", she added.

New COVID-19 cases have dropped 16% in the last week as the US surpassed 140 million people having received at least one shot of authorized vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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