With more than 200 million Americans now receiving at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, some are asking when it will be safe to stop wearing a mask; KDKA's Paul Martino reports.
- So as more people get vaccinated, many are wondering, when is it safe to stop wearing a mask? While the CDC still recommends wearing masks outdoors, experts are saying, it may be time to take the mask off in certain situations. Paul Martino is live in the Strip District, right now, to explain. Paul?
PAUL MARTINO: You know, Kim, we're all more than anxious to get back to the life we once had. We're not there quite yet, but the CDC and other experts are reconsidering whether or not it's necessary to always wear a mask, especially outdoors.
Take a walk through any neighborhood. You'll find some people wearing masks. Some are not. Is it safe to remove the mask when you're outside? Some say yes. Others still wear it.
- It think it's a smart thing to do if you're around people. I mean, when I'm by myself or walking my dog, no, I don't have to wear it.
- I got my second shot, and I think I'm prepared for it. And I think everything's good. I think we need to move on from this and get on with our lives.
- A doctor from Allegheny Health Network agrees. It may be time to reconsider mask requirements, at least, when you're outdoors.
ARVIND VENKAT: I think wearing masks when you're alone outside is not really useful. I think that, if you're in a park, where there's lots of space and lots of ability to separate, I think wearing a mask is not particularly necessary either.
- Even so, many people we spoke with are playing it safe.
- Because there's still a lot of sick people out here, and there's a lot of people that haven't taken this serious. And they're just spreading germs.
- And Dr. Venkat warns, it's not time to remove the mask when you're around groups of people, especially indoors.
- What I'm telling people is that they should be wearing a mask in indoor circumstances, where they are not sure everyone else is vaccinated, and especially if it's crowded or poorly ventilated.
- And the CDC warns us, even if you have been fully vaccinated, you still could be carrying the virus, and you could spread it to other people if you're not wearing a mask. Even so, the CDC is reviewing its guidelines about wearing a mask outdoors. Reporting live from the Strip District, Paul Martino, KDKA News.