The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on millions of lives across the globe for one whole year. People have either lost their lives or the lives of people close to them. The World Health Organization had issued certain guidelines to help people stay safe from getting infected with the coronavirus. Maintaining social distance and wearing masks in public were the two most essential things that people had to religiously follow throughout 2020 and even in the initial stages of 2021. With the arrival of vaccines and people availing them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a statement that gives fully vaccinated people the liberty to not use their masks while staying indoors. A detailed discussion follows.
Are Masks No Longer Required?
Not exactly. The guidance which has been issued states that those individuals who got themselves fully vaccinated two weeks prior, don’t require to wear masks both indoors or outdoors. However, there are certain limitations. The CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was not particular about using masks in schools or other settings. The fully vaccinated people have also been told not to unmask themselves when availing themselves public transport, visiting hospitals or jails or prisons where you would find congregations.
What is The Local Mask Mandate?
The suggestion coming from the CDC doesn’t nullify the orders issued by counties, cities, and states. However, within hours after the CDC announced the new guidelines, government officials in different parts of the United States started setting the rules by the new policy. Those who didn’t, either haven’t yet made up their minds or have decided to stick to the existing rules and would come to a decision after reviewing the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After the guidelines spread to all parts of the United States, officials have got down to work. In Pennsylvania, changed rules will exempt the fully vaccinated population from wearing masks. The same has been applied in Illinois and Kentucky. Missouri’s state executive is busy adjusting everything by the newly issued guidelines. In other parts of the country, the guidelines are being reviewed. Therefore, any change in rules has not yet been announced.
Was It a Surprise Announcement?
The declaration from the CDC has been the talk of the country and has taken political leaders, health experts, and business owners by surprise. The CDC had issued a milder instruction stating that fully vaccinated folks need not wear masks outdoors, but not in places where is there is a crowd or a congregation. Several health experts across the United States are in favor of the declaration and have decided not to adhere to the guidelines. They somehow think that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has left everything to the population, putting the entire responsibility on their shoulders.
They advise that people should check out the recommendations from the CDC and see if they are suitable enough or not. Quite a few are saying that they wouldn’t be using masks while stepping out but will cover their faces when they are in public places or indoor spaces which are stuffed with people. They state that the guidelines issued by the CDC are a manifestation of the confidence in the way the vaccines have been working. These experts believe that the CDC must be having detailed data to validate their declaration. Nothing has been happening out of the blue, they feel. So, there is a contrast of opinions.
Why the Guidelines Have Been Issued Now?
Why did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issue such guidelines now? It’s not clear as of now. Deaths and infections owing to COVID-19 have been on the decrease in the United States over the past weeks and that’s surely a positive sign. According to the recent data, 37,000 people are getting infected every day and 630 deaths are being recorded daily on average. These figures are much lower than the average recorded in September and July respectively. These are certainly positive changes. But the most positive change to date is the availability of vaccines. Most importantly, they are working well for the vaccinated lot. Things are surely looking brighter.
A few local governments would probably stick to the orders asking people to wear masks. They are in no mood to hurry. For them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.