During the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask, inside or outside, or maintain social distance. Walensky said, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
ROCHELLE WALENSKY: 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. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy. 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.
Now, if you are immune-compromised, you will most definitely want to talk to your doctor before giving up your mask. Also, locations such as health care facilities will continue to follow their specific infection control recommendations. And lastly, this past year has shown us that this virus can be unpredictable. So if things get worse, there is always a chance we may need to make change to these recommendations. But we know that the more people are vaccinated, the less cases we will have, and the less chance of a new spike or additional variants emerging. If you develop symptoms, you should put your mask back on and get tested right away. The science is also very clear about unvaccinated people. You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or of spreading the disease to other.