CDC updates guidance on mask use in outdoor settings for fully vaccinated people

Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors

DETROIT – The CDC has updated its guidelines on mask use in outdoor settings.

With more than 37% of American adults vaccinated and generally falling COVID-19 case rates across the United States, the CDC felt it was time to update their guidance for the use of masks in fully vaccinated people.

This is the third time they have updated this guidance to keep up with the new data and changing vaccination rates.

“There’s increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors – less than 10% of documented transmission in many studies have occurred outdoors,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said

That distinction between indoor and outdoor spread is what prompted Walensky to update the CDC’s mask-wearing guidelines.

“We also know that there’s an almost 20-fold increased risk of transmission in the indoor setting than in the outdoor setting. That, coupled with the fact that we now have 37% of people over the age of 18 fully vaccinated and the fact that our case rates are now starting to come down, motivated our change in guidance,” Walensky said. “As more people get vaccinated and as case rates continue to come down, we will come up with further updates.”

What to know

  • Guiding principles for fully vaccinated people are now provided.
  • Underscore that immunocompromised people, need to consult their healthcare provider about these recommendations, even if fully vaccinated
  • Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Clarification that fully vaccinated workers no longer need to be restricted from work following an exposure as long as they are asymptomatic.
  • Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings no longer need to quarantine following a known exposure.
  • Fully vaccinated asymptomatic people without an exposure may be exempted from routine screening testing, if feasible.

READ: Michigan opens COVID vaccine eligibility to 16 and older: Best appointment options


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