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News & Politics

CDC Says Vaccinated People Don’t Need to Wear Masks Outdoors Except in Crowds

DC has not yet updated its rules on outdoor mask-wearing

Photo via iStock.

Fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask outdoors unless they’re in a crowd, the CDC said in new recommendations released today.

“If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, or dine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, the science shows if you are vaccinated, you can do so safely unmasked,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing.

The CDC still recommends everyone mask up in packed stadiums, concerts, or other areas where it’s difficult to maintain social distance and some people may be unvaccinated. The agency also recommends masks for indoor activities, such as public transportation, hair salons, or places of worship, even if you are vaccinated.

“Although these vaccines are extremely effective, we know that the virus spreads very well indoors. Until more people are vaccinated and while we still have more than 50,000 cases a day, mask use indoors will provide extra protection,” Walensky says.

DC has not yet released any statements about how it will handle this new guidance. The Mayor’s current order on mask-wearing requires anyone leaving their home to wear one if they are likely to come in contact with another person for more than a fleeting period of time.

Here’s the CDC’s full guide to safe activities:

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.