With new guidance for vaccinated individuals from the Centers from Disease Control (CDC) being released this week, we connected with Melissa Bronstein, infection prevention specialist at Rochester Regional Health to get her take on when we should be wearing our masks both indoors and outdoors.
Since April 17, 2020, following a mask mandate issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, individuals in New York State over the age of 2 who can “medically tolerate a face covering” when in a public place or unable to maintain social distancing have been required to wear a mask.
This requirement was recently lifted in outdoor settings for fully vaccinated individuals only, following new CDC guidelines released this week. These guidelines were fully adopted by New York State, effective immediately.
“According to the new CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues,” explained Bronstein.
Fully vaccinated individuals can also visit with other fully vaccinated households and unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19, indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
“This is exciting – as more people become vaccinated, we can get back to the things we’re used to doing,” said Bronstein. “It does require people to think about what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with. The biggest difference between walking down a sidewalk and standing in the middle of a crowd watching a performance is that I’m spending more time standing next to one person. If I’m moving down the street, there’s constant airflow.”
If you’re vaccinated, you should still wear a well-fitted mask:
People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have completed both doses in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen).
Those who have not yet been vaccinated for COVID-19, including children who are not yet eligible, should continue to wear masks when in public settings, both indoors and outdoors, when they are unable to maintain social distancing.
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