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: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
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