California Plans to Align Mask Rules With New CDC Outdoor Mask Guidance

On Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control announced that fully vaccinated Americans don't need to cover their faces outside unless they are in a big crowd of strangers

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On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its mask advisory, sharing a cautious but optimistic new set of guidelines.

The guidelines state that people who are fully vaccinated don't need to cover their faces when outdoors unless they're in a big crowd of strangers.

Guidance also loosened for those who are unvaccinated, telling people that it's safe to be unmasked when on a walking, running or biking outdoors with members of your household or you attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends.

For those who are fully vaccinated, though, the guidance goes even further for outdoor activities: People should feel safe unmasking at a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people. They can also unmask when dining outside with folks from other households.

"It is kind of weird, because I've been used to wearing a mask for a full year now, so it'll be weird just to take it off in public and sort of just smell the fresh air again around other people," Andrea Reljic told NBC 7 on Tuesday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said California will align state guidance with the new CDC guidelines.

Health experts are urging caution, explaining that this updated guidance is not an open invitation to toss the face mask, especially not indoors or at any crowded or large outdoor events.

"I mean, you certainly don't want to say, well, it's outdoors, but it's a concert or it's a line that you're standing on to get vaccinated or some other crowded situation," Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe said. "In that sense, you should still be wearing the masks."

The CDC still wants everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, to make sure they are wearing facial coverings when indoors and going to the movies or stores and similar activities, because the pandemic isn't over yet.

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