“Today, the CDC is updating its advice for fully vaccinated people,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said Thursday during a White House briefing on COVID-19. “Anyone who is fully immunized can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distance. If you are fully immunized, you can start doing the things you stopped because of the pandemic. “
Anyone who is vaccinated but develops symptoms should mask themselves and get tested, she warned. Walensky also warned that there is always a chance the pandemic situation will worsen and the nation may have to reverse elements of previous directives.
Walensky also said that fully vaccinated people entering spaces where they do not know the immunization status of others, such as at concerts, need not worry and can still be there without a mask. This is a significant leap from previous CDC guidelines. The move comes shortly after the CDC said people were fully vaccinated.
Walensky also said it is safe for people who have been vaccinated not to have a mask in indoor environments that may contain unvaccinated people, such as at a concert.
“Science shows that if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected,” Walensky said. “These are the people who are not fully vaccinated in these settings, who may not be wearing a mask, who are not protected. And these are the people we encourage to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and physically distance themselves. So if you’re vaccinated in these settings, you could definitely wear a mask if you want to, but we say in these settings, based on science, that’s safe. ”
The White House has also lifted its mask requirement for fully vaccinated people working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
President Biden spoke from the White House rose garden to mark the change on CDC vaccinations and provide an update on vaccinations.
“It’s a good day for the country,” he said.
The president congratulated those who were vaccinated for having accomplished their “patriotic duty”.
“For over a year you endured so much, and so many lost jobs, so many businesses lost, so many lives turned upside down and so many months that our children could not be in school. You couldn’t see your friends and family, ”the president said.
Now things are changing. Still, the president urged those who have not yet been vaccinated to take this step.
Places where masks are still needed
The CDC guidelines do not apply to health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and long-term care facilities. This also does not apply to correctional facilities or homeless shelters.
The CDC still says people fully vaccinated should wear properly fitted masks when required by federal, state or local laws, as well as by businesses. Masks will always be needed on planes, trains, and other types of public transportation.
The CDC defines “fully vaccinated” as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose regimen, such as Pfizer or Moderna, and two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The news comes as the country passes 250 million vaccinations and heads towards President Biden’s goal of 70% of Americans having at least one dose by July 4.
The Food and Drug Administration recentlyfor Pfizer vaccine in 12 to 15 year olds.