They key thing you should know about the new mask rules
April 30, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 20.4%. 1 min read.
Despite the incremental shift in official guidelines on face masks, my phone blew up almost instantly with questions, concerns and political statements, writes Megan Ranney. I will tell you what I have told each of my friends and colleagues: These recommendations are scientifically sound, absolutely safe and unsurprising to those of us in public health.
Second, and more importantly, these new guidelines reaffirm that people who are fully vaccinated can safely go unmasked in almost any outdoor scenario -- the exception being crowded events like live performances or parades.
The guidance for everything else (including recommendations to continue wearing masks indoors) has essentially stayed the same.
First, the difference between the CDC's recommendations for indoor and outdoor masking reflects what we now know about the virus: It spreads primarily through the air.
This is why the CDC's recommendations for masking distinguish between outdoor activities among small groups (which poses the lowest risk for everyone), outdoor activities where large crowds make it impossible to maintain social distancing (mild-to-moderate risk) and indoor activities (higher risk).
This is why the CDC's new recommendations are more relaxed for people who are fully vaccinated than for those who aren't.
Why, then, does the CDC still recommend masks for vaccinated people in some situations?
And for now, they are still recommended indoors even if you are vaccinated.
For people who are immunosuppressed (for whom the vaccines may not be as effective) or otherwise high-risk, it might be a good idea to choose to continue wearing a mask, especially indoors, regardless of the regulations.