CDC Relaxes Guidelines On Mask-Wearing Outdoors

The Biden administration says new mask guidance from the CDC is a big step in getting our lives back to normal; KDKA's Andy Sheehan reports.

Video Transcript

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: If you're fully vaccinated and you're outdoors, and not a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask.

STACY SMITH: That is President Biden announcing new mass guidance from the CDC. Good evening. At least 95 million Americans are considered to be fully vaccinated.

KRISTINE SORENSEN: And the Biden administration says this guidance is a big step in getting our lives back to normal. But here in Pennsylvania, for now, the mandate remains for masks to be worn when you're in public. The CDC's new guidelines only recommend masks for vaccinated people outdoors when they're at a crowded outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event. KDKA's Andy Sheehan is live outside at a sporting event right now, just about a half hour from first pitch at PNC Park. Andy?

ANDY SHEEHAN: Well, the new rules apply to those who have been fully vaccinated, but President Biden says they also provide an incentive to those who are not. It's being heralded as a first step towards returning life back to normal, but it's only meant for the fully vaccinated, and even for those people it does not mean absolute freedom.

According to the new guidelines, masks can be shed while walking, running, hiking, or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household. Attending small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends, and attending small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Dining outdoors at restaurants with friends from multiple households. But even if you're vaccinated, you can't be with people who haven't been indoors, in line, or in a crowd. Still, President Biden says it opens up life for those who have been vaccinated and provides an incentive to those who haven't been.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The bottom line is clear. If you're vaccinated, you can do more things more safely both outdoors as well as indoors. So for those who haven't gotten their vaccinations yet, especially if you're younger, or think you don't need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated now.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Now the loosening of these guidelines will have no impact on tonight's Pirate-Royals game. You still need to wear a mask in line. You'll still need to wear a mask in the seats. These guidelines say that anybody in a crowded place still needs to wear a mask. Reporting live at PNC Park, Andy Sheehan, KDKA News.