The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated mask guideline on Tuesday, focusing on Americans that are now fully vaccinated. The resumption of small outdoor group activities can now be held maskless, with vaccinated individuals only. Other maskless activities they have noted include: walking, running, hiking, or biking with members of their household or alone, small outdoor gatherings with vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and outdoor dining with people from multiple households.
The CDC has also stated that fully vaccinated individuals can also attend outdoor crowded events, such as concerts, sports, or parades, and even attend indoor high-intensity exercise classes as long as they wear a mask. Attending indoor theaters like performance arts theatres and movie theaters, as well as indoor church services and choirs are also now considered safe while wearing a mask.
Counties in Iowa, Kansas, and Mississippi have begun turning away vaccine shipments due to the lack of demand in these states, for fear of wasting. President Biden has upped the financial and technical assistance to states such as these to help increase vaccine campaigning and accessibility in response to this. This update also serves as a slight incentive by the CDC, showing Americans what their future could look like if they receive their vaccination.
Currently, more than 54% of American adults are at least half-vaccinated and 37% are fully vaccinated. The CDC and other officials want to raise this number quickly and efficiently, especially as new variants continue to emerge; this desire is being thwarted by decline in vaccinations. On April 11, vaccinations were over 3 million per day, but recently have lowered to a little over 2.5 million in the end of April.
Numbers of COVID-19 cases have been going down as those who become vaccinated go up, with the numbers sitting at 55,000 new cases a day (20% less than two weeks ago). President Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated stating, “Go get the shot.” while pointedly removing his mask and keeping it off until he reached the inside of the building. This display showed an example of what is to come.
This CDC update comes as a bright light of good news amidst the pandemic which has been more than detrimental over the last year, news which pushes us towards more comfortable living again. Of course, regardless of vaccination status or relaxed guidelines, the safest and surest way to protect yourself and those around you is to continue to wear your mask and the CDC recommends that you continue to follow the local and federal mask mandates.