By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
SOUTH JERSEY — On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a carefully-worded, updated set of “interim public health recommendations” regarding mask-wearing in the United States. The CDC loosened many parts of its guidance pertaining to masks, particularly for fully-vaccinated individuals.
All Americans, regardless of their vaccination status, can safely walk, run, or ride a bicycle outdoors alone or with members of their household without a mask. Fully vaccinated Americans can safely attend small outdoor gatherings or eat at an outdoor restaurant with friends from different households without a mask, but unvaccinated Americans should continue to participate in these specific activities while wearing a mask.
The CDC advises that fully vaccinated Americans should continue to wear a mask while attending crowded outdoor events such as live performances or sporting events, visiting a barber shop/hair salon, going to a shopping center, riding public transport, or seeing a movie indoors.
You can check out the CDC’s full guidance on participating in specific events below:
“Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a briefing on Tuesday. “Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do. Today, I’m going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”
During an address to the nation on Tuesday afternoon, President Joe Biden pleaded to Americans who aren’t inoculated yet while also expressing optimism about the United States’ “stunning progress” in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“The bottom line is clear: If you’re vaccinated, you can do more things, more safely, both outdoors as well as indoors,” President Biden said. “The CDC is able to make this announcement because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low. If you’re both and fully vaccinated and out in the open air.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy hasn’t repealed the state’s current mask mandate for indoor settings yet, but he said on Monday that he’d be willing to loosen New Jersey’s mask rules if the CDC updated its mask-related guidance.
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