The latest guidance has resulted in celebration, criticism and considerable confusion. Just because a person is not wearing a mask, does not mean they have been vaccinated. Likewise, if a person is wearing a mask, they could be fully immunized and just choosing to be cautious. Add to that, many establishments still require masks – while others have abandoned their mask mandates completely. The bottom line: There is no way to know who is vaccinated and who is not in most cases. And because of the new mandate, the likely result is that almost no one will wear a mask.
One thing we know for sure. Covid-19 is still very much with us. About a week before issuing this latest mandate, the CDC guidance issued the following on line in large bold lettering: “airborne virus can be inhaled even when one is more than six feet away from an infected individual.” And that was a change from their previous position that most infections are caught through “close contact not airborne transmission.”
The Washington Post reported that more than a dozen physicians expressed concern that the decision was premature…. while so many are still unprotected. They feared the guidelines could undercut two of the simplest and most effective tools — masks and physical distancing — for stopping the spread of a virus still infecting about 35,000 people in the United States every day.
Remember, at the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC advised AGAINST masks only to change its guidance a couple of months later and the nation was told to mask up.
Masks Matter. It’s a fact that the flu all but vanished in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic and many Americans reported that they caught fewer colds than usual all in 2020 .
As one public health official commented: “When people face the pandemic as a group, wearing a mask is a way to reduce the individual impact on others.”
“What we do today is really going to define what tomorrow is all about,” Gov. Cuomo said Monday. “We are managing COVID. We haven’t defeated COVID. More work needs to be done on the vaccination front. We’re going to find more creative ways for people to take vaccines.”
On Wednesday New York State adopted the CDC’s guidance on masks and social distancing.
“If you are vaccinated. You are safe. No masks and no social distancing,” Cuomo said.
Masks will remain on mass transit, in schools, health care facilities and homeless shelters. Private venues and businesses not listed in the CDC’s guidelines can require masks if wanted.
The CDC says its safe for fully vaccinated people to do the following activities without a mask:
•Walk, run, wheelchair roll, or bike outdoors with members of your household
•Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends
•Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people
•Dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households
•Attend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports event
•Visit a barber or hair salon
•Go to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum
•Attend a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from
•Go to an indoor movie theater
•Attend a full-capacity worship service
•Sing in an indoor chorus
•Eat at an indoor restaurant or bar
•Participate in an indoor, high intensity exercise class
•Unvaccinated Americans must continue to wear a mask.
Masks are still recommended for all in crowded indoor settings and hospitals, airplanes, buses and trains.
Those with compromised immune systems are told to speak with their doctors about masks and social distancing.