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People vaccinated against Covid-19 can go without masks indoors and outdoors, CDC says

People fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances, the...

Posted: May 13, 2021 11:50 AM
Updated: May 13, 2021 1:30 PM

People fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

'If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,' Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 briefing. 'We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.'

Calling it an 'exciting and powerful moment,' Walensky said the science supports the updated CDC guidance that 'anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities -- large or small -- without wearing a mask or physical distancing.'

She cited three studies -- one from Israel and two from the United States -- that show vaccines work.

The Israeli study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed the vaccine was 97% effective against symptomatic Covid-19 and 86% effective against asymptomatic infection in over 5,000 health care workers.

There have been reports of 'breakthrough' infections among vaccinated people in the United States -- a small number among more than 117 million people in the United States who are now fully vaccinated. Walensky noted that 'the resulting infection is more likely to have a lower viral load, may be shorter in duration, and likely less risk of transmission to others.'

Walensky's announcement has a few caveats. She warned that people who are immune compromised should speak with their doctors before giving up their masks.

The requirement to wear masks during travel -- on buses, trains, planes and public transportation -- still stands, Walensky said. Guidance for travel will be updated as science emerges.

She also said that 'the past year has shown us that this virus can be unpredictable, so if things get worse, there is always a chance we may need to make a change to these recommendations.'

People who develop Covid-19 symptoms, even those who are vaccinated, should put their mask back on and get tested, Walensky said.

The science is clear, too, for unvaccinated people, Walensky said: 'You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask and you should get vaccinated right away.'

But once someone is fully vaccinated -- two weeks after the final dose -- 'you can shed your mask,' she said.

Some people may choose to continue wearing masks even if they are fully vaccinated, and that's OK, federal Covid-19 response leaders said Thursday.

'People have to make their own personal choice,' Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during the White House Covid-19 briefing.

'There's absolutely nothing wrong with an individual who has a certain level of risk aversion, as we know the risk is extremely low of getting infected whether you're indoors or outdoors. But there are those people who don't want to take that bit of a risk and there's nothing wrong with that and they shouldn't be criticized.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206777

Reported Deaths: 2754
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40354614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18925235
Lane13896164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001582
Umatilla859387
Linn560380
Yamhill477879
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas387982
Malheur361463
Josephine359872
Benton326422
Jefferson236839
Coos216637
Columbia191929
Union149824
Wasco144330
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10559
Baker101115
Curry70811
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3808258

Reported Deaths: 63335
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124761824454
Riverside3016034627
San Bernardino2992894844
San Diego2817493771
Orange2729225112
Santa Clara1201102188
Kern1107821404
Sacramento1076381731
Fresno1029221724
Alameda895921273
Ventura816381031
San Joaquin746861438
Contra Costa70561813
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49814849
Monterey43831427
San Mateo42646581
San Francisco37256556
Santa Barbara34596455
Solano33707266
Merced32291478
Sonoma30868317
Imperial28813741
Placer23537299
Kings23189247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16632245
Santa Cruz16235208
Marin14200230
Yolo14156212
Butte12659194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10371116
Napa1002580
Sutter9656113
Yuba648551
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573163
Nevada491075
Humboldt446348
Mendocino432150
Tuolumne420771
Amador373947
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239437
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14568
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1150
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
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