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Vaccinate NEPA: CDC updates mask guidelines for outdoor events, activities

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — People can start to ditch their mask outdoors.

More and more people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Because of that, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is easing its guidance for wearing a mask.

The CDC announced Tuesday if you are fully vaccinated and are outside, then you do not need to wear a mask for most activities.

This is good news for those who have received their vaccine, but in some cases applies to those who haven’t gotten the shot.

The CDC also said fully vaccinated or not, people don’t have to wear masks outside when they are alone or with members of their household.

They can also go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.

“We continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues such as packed stadiums and concerts where there is decreased ability to maintain physical distance and where many unvaccinated people may also be present,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

As the pandemic continues, Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.

“Even when you are talking about variants, indoors, outdoors, get vaccinated and you will certainly have a degree of protection,” Dr. Fauci said.

However the CDC still recommends for vaccinated people to wear a mask indoors.

“We know that the virus spreads very well indoors. Until more people are vaccinated and while we still have more than 50,000 cases a day, mask use indoors will provide extra protection,” Dr. Walensky said.

Eyewitness News stopped in downtown Wilkes-Barre to see what people think about the new guidance.

“Um actually… I really haven’t been wearing my mask outside to begin with so as long as I feel like I am getting fresh air I feel like you shouldn’t have to wear it,” Plymouth resident Brianna said.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction. I think it’s something that we need but until there’s more proof I guess I’m going to be more weary of what I’m doing,” Wilkes-Barre resident Scott Jones said.

The CDC defines someone as being fully vaccinated if two weeks has passed after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

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