the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, on May 13, the US CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, which eliminates previous recommendations regarding physical distancing and mask use, including indoors. The update closely follows comments earlier this week by White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who stated that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask, except in densely crowded environments, based on a “growing body of evidence” regarding the low risk of infection and transmission for fully vaccinated individuals. The CDC’s updated guidance for fully vaccinated individuals now indicates they no longer need to wear masks or practice physical distancing in most settings. Notable exceptions include higher-risk environments, including “planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation” and “correctional facilities and homeless shelters,” as well as anywhere that masks are mandated by tribal, state, or local governments or in businesses or workplaces that have their own mandates. The guidance applies to individuals who received their final vaccine dose at least 2 weeks prior.
In response to the shift in CDC guidance, some states immediately removed their mask mandates, but others are taking a more cautious approach. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and US President Joe Biden acknowledged that some individuals may find it difficult to remove their masks in public, after wearing them for more than a year, and emphasized that individuals should make the transition when they are comfortable. Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi indicated she would maintain the mask mandate until vaccination coverage increases among House members. Some mandates may remain in place due to concerns about elevated risk of community transmission in some areas or concerns about the inability to accurately identify individuals who have been vaccinated.