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Easing up on mask wearing outside

The CDC issued some welcome news for people trying to live with the COVID-19 pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear face masks outside, unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

People, vaccinated or not, do not have to wear masks outdoors if you are walking, biking or running, alone or with a member of your household. Small outdoor gatherings with other people who are vaccinated can also be mask free.

Unvaccinated people are still encouraged to wear masks outside at small gatherings that include other unvaccinated people.

Everyone, vaccinated or not, should wear masks at crowded events, like concerts or sporting events.

Masks are still recommended for indoor public places such as hair salons, gyms, movie theaters and restaurants.

Of course, it’s hard to tell who is or is not vaccinated. So it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious around people you don’t know.

Face masks have been the most visible symbol of the pandemic. They have been the flashpoint for debates and arguments, considered an affront to one’s personal liberties, and worn or not worn according to which political party you back. But they are also the easiest to use and most effective tool we have for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Vaccinations are, of course, the most effective prevention, and the more people that are vaccinated, the fewer restrictions we will have to practice. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can, and to keep wearing those masks when necessary.

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