- New federal health guidelines allow vaccinated individuals to not wear masks in most public outdoor and indoor spaces, but some experts may further increase the spread of COVID-19.
- Vaccinated individuals can get infected with SARS-CoV-2 and unknowingly infect the virus to unvaccinated individuals.
- Wearing a mask and continuing taking safety precautions could aid in avoiding long terms symptoms that vaccines may not prevent right away.
After a year and more of strict regulations concerning wearing face masks in public, many people around the world were surprised to hear that experts at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention got rid of many public masks mandates for this summer. They claimed that as vaccination rates increased around the world, including 146 million in America, 223 million in China, 30 million in the Uk, allowing fully vaccinated individuals to remove face masks both in indoor and outdoor settings, made sense. Just to be clear, individuals that are still not vaccinated must still wear their face masks in both outdoor and indoor locations, as the elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission is still high.
The main reason that has left many people confused and doubtful about these new regulations, especially Americans, is because it’s justified by the honor system. Between so many cities and countries, it has become very hard to understand who is vaccinated and who is not. Especially, since each business has different policies in regards to whether their employees or guests need to wear masks,
Should we still wear a face mask?
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While the risk of getting the Virus after getting vaccinated is very low, officers at the CDC, still continue to publish their studies in regard to the chance of vaccinated individuals contracting COVID-19 without being aware of it. Professor, LaTasha Perkins, M.D., that works in the Georgetown University MedStar Hospital establishment, claims that although you many not feel any symptoms of COVID-19 after being vaccinated, you can still pass the virus to your family, friends, or people near you in crowded places. Continuing to wear a face mask in these spaces may help protect others around you.
“As the virus continues to affect communities, it also continues to mutate,” Dr. Perkins explains, “and while we have a level of immunity, it’s still important to be mindful once you get the vaccine.”
With a warm temperatures coming our way this summer, CDC experts have been emphasizing on the evidence they found of COVID-19 transmission in public areas is low. While as, being confined indoors in crowded places is completely different. Vaccinated people face very low risk, while unvaccinated people should be more careful.
“Since no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infection, this larger concentration of virus in the air makes it more likely that even some vaccinated individuals could become infected,” adds Doctor LaTasha Perkins.
CDC guidelines, do not apply on transition and transport facilities. Vaccinated people should still wear masks on trains, buses, boats, planes, and crowded places that offer services to people such as hospitals and veterinaries.
Should we still be social distancing?
The same way masks are essential, making sure your hands are always washed and maintaining social distance, are essential in lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Maintaining social distance between family and friend in indoor areas is vital. “Outdoors is always safer than indoors, distance will always be safer than being close, mask-wearing will always be safer than not wearing a mask,” Dr. LaTasha says.
Being socially distant outdoors in an uncrowded space could be a compromise for those who wish to skip masks altogether. “Outdoors, the protection of mask-wearing is negligible, especially when physical distancing is in play,” she adds.