Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) are confusing a lot of people. With new updates every few of days, it’s difficult to keep track of the most up to date rules, which vary depending on whether or not you are vaccinated.
According to the latest CDC guidelines, if you’re vaccinated, you no longer have to wear face masks. Well, almost. This all varies by state and business, making this entire process much more complicated than you’d think.
Infectious disease experts emphasize the importance of every person’s individual level of risk and comfort, and the state of infections in their community. If a person is young, vaccinated, with no underlying health conditions and living in an area with a low level of transmission, they’re better off than someone who is high risk and living in a place where there’s a lot of COVID-19 infections.
Here are some guidelines for mask wearing indoors. If you’re unvaccinated, it’s best to stick to your mask for a while longer:
Once you’ve been vaccinated, it’s very unlikely for you to spread COVID-19. Despite that, whether you wear a mask depends on the gym itself. In order to keep employees and customers safe, and to avoid problems when verifying vaccination records, some gyms might ask people to wear their masks while indoors.
Indoor restaurants and bars
While you should still be polite when entering and leaving a restaurant (perhaps even when going to the bathroom), you should be good without your mask. When it comes to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, they should still be careful since they’re exposed to larger risks and there’s no way of knowing if their servers, neighbors, etc., are vaccinated.
As is the case with most situations indoors, what matters is your coworkers. If they’re all vaccinated, there is no problem. Still, managing this is difficult and requires a lot of planning and sincerity from employers and employees. Some experts suggest separating employees depending on their vaccination status, allowing those who’ve been vaccinated to return to work at the office and those who haven’t been vaccinated to stay working from home.
Whether the gathering is large or small, if you’re vaccinated, you should be fine. Unvaccinated people who present a risk to others should wear their masks in case the gathering is large. If the majority of people are vaccinated, there should be much lower risk for the party to dissolve into a super spreader event.
Despite the fact that event venues, such as theaters, result in people standing in the same place for long periods of time, vaccinated people should be fine to stay without masks. Still, you should follow your state’s guidelines. The bigger issue here is concerts, since people tend to sing and stand or sit packed together. Wearing no mask is okay, especially if you’re exposed to low risks and you’re young and vaccinated. Even if vaccinated people get COVID-19, the odds of developing a serious infection are very low.