The Centre for Disease Control in the United States has issued a fresh advisory regarding the use of face masks in the country has left many Americans scratching their heads. On Tuesday, US health officials said in an update that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers, and those who are yet to receive the vaccine can go without a face covering outside in some cases as well. The announcement has left many wondering, especially on social media where netizens raised a plethora of questions to better understand the new rules.
For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of each other. The mandate had been become of point of political tussle ahead of the US Presidential elections last year with Republicans refusing to wear a mask while Democrats insisted on wearing one.
As soon as the CDC’s announcement was posted on Twitter, the post was flooded with jokes, questions and comments. Many began wondering how “vaccinated Americans” can be differentiated from the “unvaccinated” ones.
Meanwhile, hundreds of anti-maskers and anti-vaxers responded in the comments sections ridiculing CDC’s announcement and claiming they never wore the mask, to begin with. Many Republicans and supporters of former US President Donald Trump have refused to follow any instructions issued by the CDC.
Yet others felt that not wearing a mask was perhaps not the wisest thing.
The CDC’s move is yet another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in the US. The change comes as more than half of US adults have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated. Democrats, nevertheless, had a rather odd concern. That not wearing masks would make them look like Republicans.
The CDC, which has been cautious in its guidance during the crisis, essentially endorsed what many Americans have already been doing over the past several weeks. The CDC has differing guidance for people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.
Unvaccinated people defined by the CDC as those who have yet to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson formula should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They also should keep using masks at outdoor restaurants.
Fully vaccinated people do not need to cover up in those situations, the CDC says. However, everyone should keep wearing masks at crowded outdoor events such as concerts or sporting events, the CDC says.
The agency continues to recommend masks at indoor public places, such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping centers, museums, and movie theatres.