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CDC issues new outdoor mask guidance for fully vaccinated people

University of Missouri students wear masks while walking in downtown Columbia on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
ABC 17 News
University of Missouri students wear masks while walking in downtown Columbia on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued new guidance on outdoor mask use for fully vaccinated Americans.

If you're fully vaccinated, the CDC says you can now take your mask off at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. The CDC is telling unvaccinated people that they still need to wear a mask at such gatherings.

But life has not returned completely to normal for fully vaccinated people.

Watch playback of the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing in the player below.

The federal health agency says even if you've been vaccinated, you should avoid medium to large gatherings. The CDC did not define how many people would be in medium or large gathering.

For the fully vaccinated who do chose to attend a crowded outdoor event, such as a live performance, parade, or sporting event, wearing a mask is recommended.

The CDC advises vaccinated people to still wear masks in indoor public spaces,such as a mall, movie theatre or museum, the CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the new outdoor mask recommendations on Tuesday.

People are considered fully vaccinated by the CDC two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

President Joe Biden is expected to reference the updated guidance for wearing masks outdoors while giving remarks on the state of the pandemic on Tuesday, ahead of his first address to Congress on Wednesday.

One of Biden's top coronavirus advisers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, strongly hinted to CNN that the guidance would be updated this week. Fauci told CNN's Jim Acosta on Sunday that he didn't want to get ahead of the CDC but the agency "will be coming out with updating their guidelines of what people who are vaccinated can do and even some who are not vaccinated."

On Tuesday morning, before the updated mask guidance was announced, US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on CBS This Morning that people who are vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to return to a more normal lifestyle.

"The message is clear. You're vaccinated, guess what, you get to return to a more normal lifestyle. If you're not vaccinated, you're still a danger. You're still in danger as well," Becerra said. "So get vaccinated."

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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