CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

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CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases
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By edhat staff

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced new guidance Thursday stating masks are not needed in most situations for fully vaccinated Americans.

The updated guidance states fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. 

Additionally, fully vaccinated people can refrain from testing following a known exposure unless they are residents or employees of a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter.

"You can do things you stopped doing because of the pandemic," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a White House Covid-19 briefing.

The updated guidance does not apply to health care settings, which have their own separate guidance. Additionally, public transportation and travel will still require masks and guidance will be updated as science emerges, said Walensky.

The CDC made this decision based on new studies from Israel and the United States that prove the vaccines work. 

However, unvaccinated people "remain at risk" of illness and death and should remain masked and observe physical distancing, said Walensky.

"Today is a great day for America, and our long battle with coronavirus," said President Biden Thursday afternoon. "I think it's a great milestone ... It's been made possible by the extraordinary success we've had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly."

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SBLetsGetAlong May 13, 2021 02:47 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Question. If you’re vaccinated the cdc is finally saying they think you won’t get infected?
Were they unsure of the vaccines’ effectiveness to protect people and us that why vaccinated people still had to wear masks everywhere?

Chip of SB May 13, 2021 03:20 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

SB, there never was any doubt about vaccine effectiveness, and there never any medical reason for vaccinated people to take covid related precautions. The mask and its associated rituals are and always have been a means of bringing structure and discipline into people’s lives and encouraging people to follow the guidance of science.

Ahchooo May 13, 2021 03:34 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

I figure it was about simplifying the message. The CDC had to put out simple messages to a nation of 300 million + people. If their message has any nuance or complexity, many people can’t make sense of it. If it’s too simple, the more intelligent people claim it isn’t precise enough. They haven’t done the best job of it—need a new Public Relations department.

bosco May 14, 2021 08:53 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Completely agree with AHCHOO here. I've been saying this for months. It's absolutely about simplifying the messaging. It was obvious to anyone in the medical community that masking outdoors was never needed. The umbrella mandate was a way to prevent too much debate and confusion leading down the slippery slope of non-compliance at at time of rampant viral spread. It really was a lose/lose as far as communication goes.

Chip of SB May 13, 2021 03:12 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

It’s important to remember the mask and other associated rules and practices have significance that extends far beyond filtering the air we breathe. For many, the mask and its associated rituals like hand sanitizing provide a sense of discipline and much needed structure in life. While there may not be any medical basis for wearing the mask, it has great symbolic value. It is important to continue wear the mask and practice ritual cleansing as a symbol of devotion to science and as a display of respect to others. If we abandon these traditions, it would leave a tremendous void in many people’s lives.

Ahchooo May 13, 2021 03:41 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

While I don’t quite agree with Chip, people do like to feel they have some control, and by masking, people feel like they are doing something. And, in many circumstances, properly worn masks were essential. Some people may want to keep masking for awhile, just to be sure the CDC has it right. Plus, a lot of us have a whole wardrobe of masks—they’re part of our fashion statement!

Chip of SB May 13, 2021 04:08 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

I would say it is hard for people to deal with a fear of the unknown. The mask provides structure, ritual, and discipline which helps guide people through hard times. It may not have any quantifiable medical benefit, but following “the science” manifests emotional and spiritual benefits.

sacjon May 13, 2021 04:17 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

SBLETSGETALONG - obedience or extra precaution? What do you call the millions in Japan and other Asian countries who have been wearing masks daily for years? Sheep?

Tell you what. You let others do what they want if it doesn't hurt you and yes, we all WILL be able to "get along."

Ahchooo May 13, 2021 04:40 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Many masks, properly worn, do in fact have medical benefit. Even simple cloth masks keep the wearer’s nasal passages from drying out, which benefits the immune system. Sure, some people find it hard dealing with the unknown. And some people are condescending.

letmego May 14, 2021 09:23 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

It's a combination of things, but for sure...it's weird to take them off after a year of wearing them. Plus, they are pretty. I made a bunch of pretty ones.

I do work with a lot of people from Asia, and some of them regularly wore masks during cold/flu season. For sure, I will always wear one on a plane (the number of times I've flown and picked up something from the dude coughing behind me...never occurred to me to take a mask. I always remembered earplugs though.)

Would it be wrong to make your kids or spouse wear a mask at home if one of them comes home sick? Asking for a friend.

Sun May 13, 2021 04:17 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Think again, masks help, not a symbol of obedience but health.

Dr. Rajendra Kapila, an infectious disease expert and professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, died of COVID-19 last month while in India. He was fully vaccinated.

https://news.yahoo.com/jersey-infectious-disease-expert-dies-013300202.html

Randy Parks May 13, 2021 04:39 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Dr. Deepti Saxena-Kapila, said her husband was fully vaccinated before traveling to India; while it is extremely rare for a vaccinated person to die of COVID-19, most who have died had underlying health conditions and were older, ABC News reports. Kapila's ex-wife told WABC he was 81, had heart issues and diabetes.

ginger1 May 13, 2021 05:05 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

There will always be people who thrive on fear. Like the TV news. And here they come on EdHat. But here's the science:

In the overall vaccinated population, out of literally millions of vaccinated people, the "it didn't work" rate is .0004%. So about one in a million. When science thought the effectivity was a mere 95%, the risk was a little more. But now we know it's 99.99% good to go.

There is another subset of people for which there is a much larger chance it wont protect you--those who have certain immune system diseases and those who take immunosuppressant drugs. Those people for the most part know who they are. They probably already wear masks in risky settings, long before covid.

The people in Asian countries and some athletes in training use masks to prevent breathing in particulates. Bad air. Some people wear masks in "flu season" for protection because the flu vaccine isn't very effective and influenza can, and has killed millions of at-risk people. BTW, the mRNA vaccine technology will likely make influenza shots far, far more effective. Masks and handwashing are very effective at preventing lots of infectious diseases. Why not wear a mask all the time and forever if you're so fearful of the unseen bugs? At least keep your hands clean and properly cook your food.

If you want something to worry about, consider that we do not know how long the "protection" lasts.

But who knows? Perhaps the new tech mRNA vaccine lasts a lifetime! That would be awesome. Even if that turns out not to be the case, no worries. There's always a booster. Have you gotten your: shingles/chickenpox, pneumonia, HPV, booster yet? Or are you just waiting to see if you luck out?

Sun May 13, 2021 05:18 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

California reveals data on outcomes for breakthrough cases after COVID vaccinations
While vaccines are highly effective break through case numbers have gone up and are being monitored. It doesn't hurt to wear a mask indoors in public places.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/california-reveals-how-many-breakthrough-cases-after-covid-vaccinations-have-ended-in-death/ar-BB1gFDDD?ocid=uxbndlbing

Sun May 13, 2021 05:27 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

The 3,620 breakthrough cases represent 0.25% of the more than 1.4 million coronavirus cases reported in California from Jan. 1 to May 5. The 20 deaths make up 0.06% of the 35,677 COVID-19 deaths in that time.
The state doesn’t report the total number of hospitalized patients over time.
Roughly 13.5 million Californians had been fully vaccinated by May 5, according to the state. About 1 in 4,000 of those people became infected post-vaccination.
death is rare
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/california-reveals-how-many-breakthrough-cases-after-covid-vaccinations-have-ended-in-death/ar-BB1gFDDD?ocid=uxbndlbing

Andrea Smith May 13, 2021 05:06 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

A few things. RE the Yankees getting Covid. J&J is not as effective as mRNAs. None are 100% effective. It's also possible these were false negatives b/c it was the J&J vaccine which uses virus particles depending on how much they amplified the PCR test. Vaccine is not 100%, but it significantly reduces chance of illness and/or severe illness. Secondly, CDC said to keep wearing masks b/c of concerns about variants forming from spreading that would out mutate vaccines. With so many unvaccinated still, that is the risk. Now they are finding the vaccines DO in fact reduce if not prevent transmission [which they weren't sure about before] b/c the virus cannot replicate in your system and shed a few days after infection which is what spreads it to others [and/or transmission is significantly reduced if you are vaccinated]. That is why the vaccinated can stop w/ the masks now b/c no to low risk of transmission. As for the unvaccinated, they still pose a risk of transmission so we'll have to see if any variants develop to outsmart the vaccines, hopefully not. I'm sick of this.

Andrea Smith May 13, 2021 05:15 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

I really wish at this point that people would leave others alone to do as they see fit, we are getting out of the woods now, numbers super low, so just leave people be. I think we are all traumatized here so if someone feels better still wearing a mask, what does it hurt you? Same goes w/ vaccines. While I wish more people would get them to prevent transmission and variants that could outmutate vaccines, I think it's a person's right to decline something injected into their system if they feel that way. Let's try to get along now, and comfort each other as we've all been through hell and back with this evil disease.

Chip of SB May 13, 2021 09:17 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Andrea, I wish everyone had taken your perspective since the beginning. I find it ironic that the same people who were clamoring to humiliate and punish those who would not wear a mask in situations where it didn’t matter now demand that others leave them alone and respect their personal choices. I have respected the preferences and choices of others since covid started, and I wish that other people would have respected my choices and preferences when they did not. It’s a two way street.

JB86 May 13, 2021 09:50 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Yeah, I think government 'poisoned the well' in the early stages with patently stupid rules, like the beach closures. Hard to have credibility when you say folks can jog on the beach but not sit down with a cold one hundreds of yards from anyone else. They lost my confidence there. "An abundance of caution" has become an excuse for "we really don't know what we are doing."

Andrea Smith May 14, 2021 08:09 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

CHIP, don't get me wrong. During all this, the mask deniers in my opinion were irresponsible and selfish. Things are different now with the vaccines working and preventing transmission [which they were not sure of before hence the continued masking requirements]. Now that we know you are protected if vaccinated, with some exceptions, it's different but if someone is still traumatized or worried or distrustful due to the awful messaging during all this, then it hurts no one for them to wear a mask. Same w/ vaccines b/c we now know, vaccinated are protected from unvaccinated [although unvaccinated will contribute to spread which means variants]. So, that is the point. Not that this was the case all along.

letmego May 14, 2021 09:16 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

I'm with Andrea more on this than Chip. You cannot say that in the beginning we should have let anti-maskers alone because in the beginning we didn't KNOW what we know now. You can say "well it didn't make sense to wear a mask outdoors", but we didn't have data to support that. (We also had superspreader maskless outdoor events.)

Vaccination has changed things AND case rates are down AND we know that outdoor crowded events are risky in general, but uncrowded - not so much. (Also, this is a very contagious virus, which is why the more cases you have, the faster it spreads - low case rates and high case rates result in VERY different advice. Which, duh.) In other words - January 2021 vs May 2021. Not. The. Same.

Voice of Reason May 14, 2021 09:35 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Letmego, except we DID know a lot of this information early on. Doctors and scientist saying it were silenced and censured both on the interment and IRL and anyone talking about it was a "coviditiot freedumbing, science denier".

dukemunson May 14, 2021 09:40 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Let me go - except we did have the data and evidence to support schools opening much earlier and that wearing a mask in most situations outside was silly and illogical... we just chose to lean into unsubstantiated paranoia and fear.

Ahchooo May 14, 2021 12:49 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

JB86 it never made sense to close the beaches _if_ people were going to be 100 yards apart. But on holiday weekends, people are much closer. Crowds, you know. And then they would have had the issue of heavily-used restrooms, too. What didn’t make sense was enforcement when a particular beach was not crowded —and I didn’t see that here, though it did happen in some locales.

Alexblue May 14, 2021 02:15 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Andrea, exactly--and now that things start to normalize the conspiracy theorists and anti vaxxer and self proclaimed guardians of freedom are trying to white wash the whole thing by nitpicking decisions made by the government in order to imply that the threat was always overblown and just an attempt to "control us".

As if 585,000 DEAD AMERICANS weren't that big a deal--and as if all those measures that were taken were pointless. If you consider the way that those measures suppressed the transmission of the flu so radically, you can also make some assumptions about how many more people would have died of Covid had the measures not been put in place.

dukemunson May 14, 2021 03:07 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Alex - Except we're acknowledging publicly now what many of us have been saying for a year...the mass closures of outdoor aspects of life was dumb, wrong and not science based. In essence, most of the mask mandates for outside were just that... completely pointless. You are trying to justify the panic and hysteria that ran rampant...all of which swayed public policy...

Alexblue May 14, 2021 07:19 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Duke, you’re drastically oversimplifying things, which is understandable as most people prefer either or propositions. Remember 560k dead Americans is sort of a big deal. Was the response imperfect, of course, did the over-reaction save hundreds of thousands of lives? Maybe. It’s easy to try and claim you knew all along exactly what the balance should have been once you have all the info, but you were just taking shots with your eyes closed and now you’re going to cherry pick to try and support your narrative. Should a guy have been arrested for stand up paddling? Duh—no. Were people having fricking parties at the lake and motorcycle rallies with thousands of unmasked participants leading to widespread infections—yeah. Really man, your simplistic thinking doesn’t get the job done.

dukemunson May 14, 2021 07:38 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Alex - of course... motorcycle rallies, parades and protests last summer were hugely dumb and problematic. But i didn’t mention those things... those are the outliers, those are the outdoor activities where masks “were necessary outside” (and even with masks were dumb to do in 2020). However most of our day to day outside lives aren’t at parades or protests or motorcycle rallies... are yours ? (If so I’m kinda wildly jealous). We knew closing schools was dumb and against any and all scientific advice and knowledge. We knew being on the beach didn’t require a mask... nor does walking on the sidewalk. That’s not cherry picking... that’s the vast majority of life. You are cherry picking with the random outlier events. We panicked. Every other country kept schools open. You are trying to justify the response of our local state and federal leaders...ok... no one is perfect... pretty remarkable how imperfect the vast majority of their choices and decrees ending up being. You are right, life is nuanced and not black and white... but the arbitrary closures of businesses and schools were dumb and not science based...and if you still think it was l, well... then that’s something other than “simple thinking” ...

dukemunson May 15, 2021 11:59 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Let’s follow science... something we simply haven’t done consistently at all. Schools should have stayed open. So many self inflicted wounds this year that were purely political (on both sides). What we did to our kids and so many businesses is just reprehensible. You are cherry picking the few items and Times to wear a mask outside...

Alexblue May 15, 2021 04:11 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Yeah, Duke, unfortunately the tendency is for people to travel down the slippery slope. Here’s a more local
Example—the Rose Garden. Could people who lived together go and enjoy hanging outside—of course. But you see that and then next thing you knew it was “close friends” and then people saw people out and next thing you know it was beer pong and picnics with people sharing food and packed—and it was. So then they had to close the damn park and rational and responsible people were punished because of the actions of the selfish folks out there. So it was an imperfect response—guess what, there is no perfect response in real time when dealing with something of that complexity—honestly, everyone should accept it was imperfect and that the vast majority were doing their best and just get over it.

dukemunson May 15, 2021 04:19 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Alex - except the imperfect response was usually anti science. We knew schools could open and the groups that were gathering in the park would (in a park closed situation) gather at someone’s house in even closer quarters and probably indoors. They “weren’t doing their best”... they were panicking and ignoring science and logic. You are trying to justify a ridiculous and anti logic and anti science and reason response... we butchered things... truly and completely...

JB86 May 13, 2021 09:41 PM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Mixed messages here. Nothing is going to change the minds of people who don't believe in the vaccines - or even the reality of COVID. So, immunized people and non-believers will doff the masks, and then what? CDC has effectively made masks voluntary, so people will ignore state and local 'rules' that contradict CDC's guidance, and it is now a guessing game as to what different places will require. Might as well totally dump the mask rules.

PitMix May 14, 2021 08:31 AM
CDC Says Vaccinated People Don't Need Masks in Most Cases

Can anyone tell me how you know the difference between a vaxxed maskless person and an unvaxxed maskless person? Do you think the unvaxxers will adhere to the mask guidance? Seems very unlikely.

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