When do I still need to wear a mask?

COVID-19

(Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — When do I still need to wear a mask?

It depends, mostly on whether or not you’re vaccinated.

If you’re fully vaccinated, the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most situations. That includes when you’re outside and in many indoor spaces like restaurants, though you still need to follow any local or business rules.

Americans also still need a mask when traveling, including on buses, subways and planes and at airports. The guidance on masks will differ by country.

Some experts say the CDC is relaxing its recommendations too soon.

Part of the concern is that there’s no way to tell who’s vaccinated, so unvaccinated people could claim they got the shots and go maskless, said David Holtgrave, dean of the School of Public Health at University at Albany. That could cause cases to rise.

“A central mistake in public health is easing up infectious disease control efforts just before crossing the finish line,” he said.

Story continues below.

Vaccinated people might also prefer to continue wearing their masks. Though chances are low, it’s still possible to get infected, even if symptoms are likely to be mild or nonexistent.

That’s why the CDC’s guidance says vaccinated people should put their masks back on and get tested if they end up developing symptoms.

There are other exceptions. Masks are still needed in select settings including hospitals and nursing homes. And if you have a weakened immune system because of a health condition or medications, the agency says to talk to your doctor before shedding your mask, since vaccines generally don’t work as well in people with weak immune systems.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last required shot.

If you’re not yet fully vaccinated, the CDC still recommends masks in most places outside your home. That includes indoor public spaces, crowded outdoor events like concerts and small outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people.

When you’re outdoors alone or with people from your household, the agency says unvaccinated people don’t need masks.

Since children younger than 12 aren’t yet eligible for COVID-19 shots, they should continue to wear masks indoors outside the home and in most public places like other unvaccinated people.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular

LATEST VIDEO

Monitoring Gulf Low - Adam Krueger

Upper 90's, will feel like triple digits - Adam Krueger

Heat Wave In Cities Across the Country - Adam Krueger

Forecast Heat Index - Adam Krueger

Lifetime Fitness Cafe with Omar

CW39 SHARRON MELTON INTERVIEW HISD DR. GRENITA LATHAN

Summers have been getting warmer in Houston

Grill Giveaway with Texas Star Grill Shop

Coming up... National Heat Wave, Grilling Contest - Star Harvey

"Walker" CW39 Houston Interview with Jared P

Biden's European Visit, new record warm low temp

Air Force Base lifts lockdown, Weather outlook - Sharron Melton, Star Harvey

Weekend Weather Forecast - Adam Krueger

TX govt. faces fed lawsuit, TX Tech system growing - Sharron Melton

Heat Pattern, Cicada Invasion, Bats Return - Adam Krueger, Hannah Trippett

National Heat Advisories - Star Harvey

Impacts of an Urban Heat Island - Carrigan Chauvin

Annular Solar Eclipse - Sharron Melton

Impacts of an "Urban Heat Island" - Carrigan Chauvin

103° Forecast Heat Index - Adam Krueger

NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

More NO WAIT WEATHER + TRAFFIC

CRIME

More Crime

Local Headlines

More Local

ZIP RECRUITER

Don't Miss