Good news, everyone! The CDC announced on Tuesday that people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks when engaging in small-scale outdoor activities.
According to CNN, the CDC said that while unvaccinated people should still wear masks and take precautions, those who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks during small outdoor gatherings, hiking, exercising, and whatever other activity you may enjoy doing outside.
“If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, or dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, the science shows if you are vaccinated, you can do so safely unmasked,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a virtual White House briefing.
It’s not all peaches and cream though, as the CDC still recommends avoiding large indoor events even if you’re fully vaccinated. The CDC also said that people should still wear masks during large outdoor events such as concerts or sporting events.
“Generally, for vaccinated people, outdoor activities without a mask are safe. However, we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues, such as packed stadiums and concerts where there is decreased ability to maintain physical distance and where many unvaccinated people may also be present,” Walensky told reporters. “We will continue to recommend this until widespread vaccination is achieved.”
Personally, while I’m fully vaccinated, the most I’m inclined to do at the moment is catch a movie during a slow matinee and have the homies over so I can beat all they asses in Super Mario Party. I have gone an entire year without being able to shit talk my friends in person, and I’m so excited I can finally do so in-person and without a mask.
The CDC said this change in guidance on masks comes as more and more Americans receive the vaccine, with 37 percent of people over the age of 18 now fully vaccinated. Walensky also said that data shows that coronavirus transmissions predominantly occur within indoor settings. “There’s increasing data that suggests that most of transmission is happening indoors rather than outdoors — less than 10 percent of documented transmission in many studies have occurred outdoors,” Walensky said.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in an interview with CBS This Morning that the new CDC guidelines are the first steps towards a new normal. “The message is clear. You’re vaccinated, guess what, you get to return to a more normal lifestyle. If you’re not vaccinated, you’re still a danger,” Becerra said. “So get vaccinated.”