CDC Lifts Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated
Federal guidelines allow fully vaccinated individuals to go unmasked in public
On Thursday, May 13, federal officials declared that Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to wear a mask. This would apply to most settings, both indoor and outdoor. This measure only extends to those individuals who have received both the first and second vaccinations (in the case of the Pfizer or Moderna versions), or their single Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and who have waited the customary two-week time period for the vaccination to be effective.
Those that remain unvaccinated must still wear a mask when in public. The CDC has stated that this mask mandate will remain in place until approximately 70% of the country is vaccinated.
As of May 13, the CDC reports that 35.4% of Americans are fully vaccinated, these 117.6 million people make up just over half of the 70% target. Currently, 46.4% of the US population (nearly 154 million) have at least one dosage.
According to CDC.gov:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
- Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
- If you haven't been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.
The lifting of the mask mandate extends to Pennsylvania, with the PA Department of Health acknowledging the CDC's decision.
So far, there has been little word pertaining to enforcement of the new mandate, or if there will be steps taken for people to prove their vaccination status.
At present, vaccines are readily available. For more information on how to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Erie County, go to eriecountypa.gov/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/.
The previous mask mandate went into effect more than 13 months ago, with Pennsylvania asking citizens to wear masks prior to the CDC's official guidance.
Ed. Note: This is a developing story and it is likely that a great amount of clarification will widely become available.