Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced on Thursday that vaccinated Americans are no longer recommended to wear masks.
“Today, CDC is updating our guidance for fully vaccinated people: Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” Dr. Walensky told reporters. “If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
Updated CDC guidance will still call on Americans vaccinated for coronavirus to wear masks in crowded indoor settings, such as public transportation, hospitals, and prisons, but not schools or offices. Vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors at all, according to the guidance.
The update came after more than 58 percent of American adults have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. should become more “liberal” in its masking recommendations following the pace of vaccinations.
“The CDC will be, almost in real-time George, updating their recommendations and their guidelines. We do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s This Week.
President Biden appeared to acknowledge that his administration should do more to reward vaccination during a virtual conference with U.S. state governors.
“I would like to say that we have fully vaccinated people; we should start acting like it,” Utah governor Spencer Cox, a Republican, said during the conference. Cox advocated modeling a return to normalcy.
“Good point,” Biden said. “we’re going to be moving on that in the next little bit.”