CDC: No Masks, No Social Distancing for Fully Vaccinated People

The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced on Thursday that people who have received the complete COVID-19 vaccination are no longer required to wear masks while indoors or outdoors or observe physical distancing when in either large or small gatherings. This sensational announcement was made during the White House briefing on COVID-19.

“We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” Walensky said. “Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines, and our understanding of how the virus spreads, that moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated.”

However, wearing masks is still advised for fully vaccinated persons while in a crowded indoor setting such as public transportations, hospitals, homeless shelters, and prisons. 

Walensky added that immunocompromised individuals should seek the advice of a physician before ditching the mask. She warned that if the country’s COVID-19 infections go back up, the guidance will change. Also, if people develop possible COVID-19 symptoms, it is advised to go back to wearing masks and get tested right away.

“This virus can be unpredictable, so if things get worse, there is always a chance we need to make a change to these recommendations,” she said.


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Walensky was asked whether public criticism had pressured the CDC to update the recommendations. She responded that the agency was following the science.

“I want to be clear that we followed the science here. While this may serve as an incentive for some people to get vaccinated, that is not the purpose, our purpose here is as a public health agency to follow the science and to follow where we are with regard to science and what is safe for individuals to do,” she said.

Following the CDC’s updated guidance allowing fully vaccinated Americans to discard masks when outdoors and in some situations indoors, at least eight states began to lift mask mandates. The Congressional offices and the White House lifted their mandate on Thursday for staff and visitors to wear masks after CDC updated its guidance.