CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Go Outdoors Without Mask

  • Published
  • 27 April 2021
  • Category
  • News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance today on outdoor mask use for Americans: Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

The CDC says fully vaccinated people should continue to follow guidance issued by individual employers. WorkCare’s occupational medicine physicians recommend that employees continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

“In the workplace, you do not know who is vaccinated, nor do you know if someone is at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” said Christopher Jankosky, M.D., M.P.H., WorkCare’s senior vice president, clinical operations. “Further, if a variant emerges, the employer is still responsible for maintaining a safe workplace under OSHA regulations. This is a little different from a non-employee who follows CDC guidance and voluntarily takes his or her chances at a park or restaurant.”

Dr. Jankosky said WorkCare physicians are available to discuss specific scenarios with employers. He noted that “masking and distancing are still generally recommended when gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household or with an unvaccinated person who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID, or who lives with a vulnerable person.”

 Under the updated guidance, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people indoors (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the U.S. for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after their return
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic, as feasible

People are advised to:

  • Take precautions in indoor public settings, like wearing a well-fitted mask
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear well-fitted masks when visiting indoors with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid large, in-person gatherings with people from multiple households in an indoor private or public space
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).

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