States and localities are issuing new rules for face masks following a recent CDC announcement. Here’s what we know so far.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced new recommendations for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Probably the most famous of these is the recommendation that fully vaccinated people can safely go out without masks if they are not in large groups of strangers.
But there are many other provisions to the new recommendations and they are not hard and fast rules. And in the last few days, states and towns have issued new rules. Some are more restrictive than others, and in Maryland, for example, some counties, as per their right, follow stricter rules than Gov. Larry Hogan̵
Here’s what we know so far. And remember: “Fully vaccinated” is defined as the removal of at least two weeks from the final dose of two-dose vaccines.
In the late mayor’s order, published Friday night, new regulations – said to take effect immediately – give vaccinated people more flexibility in removing their masks in public.
This order was removed from the district’s coronavirus website and replaced by an order that – while still offering special exemptions for fully vaccinated residents – does not go that far in easing restrictions.
According to the updated order, fully vaccinated persons can:
- Gather outdoors with members of their household or in small meetings with friends and family outdoors without wearing a mask (unless in a crowded place or on site)
- Visit the outdoors with a small collection of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with whom you do not normally communicate without wearing a mask. Social distancing is still required and all those unvaccinated present must wear masks
- Fully vaccinated persons can visit in small groups fully vaccinated people indoors in a private setting without wearing a mask.
- Travel to the United States without testing before departure, arrival, or return for COVID-19 unless they show symptoms of COVID-19
As more people prepare to return to work after being fully vaccinated, employers will provide masks to their employees and establish stricter rules for wearing masks for their facilities. The order also says that people will still have to wear a mask when using a taxi, vehicle or public transport in DC
Finally, just in time for summer, a person in the pool water should not wear a mask.
It is not clear why the mayor’s office published Friday’s instructions that fully vaccinated people could enter restaurants without wearing a mask. According to the updated order, fully vaccinated residents will still have to wear a mask when in closed common areas or inside the business.
Earlier, DC Health said it would follow most of the CDC’s recommendations: If you are fully vaccinated, you can now escape or take a walk in an uninhabited outdoor area with members of your household without wearing a mask.
Small gatherings outdoors, with friends and family, can be held without masks. It is recommended to collect no more than two households.
Those who are not vaccinated can also go without masks to small gatherings, unless one of the unvaccinated attendees is at high risk of a severe case of COVID-19.
For small outdoor gatherings that involve unvaccinated friends and family that you don’t see often, unvaccinated people should wear masks and social distance.
Small gatherings of indoor vaccinated people can be without masks.
Everyone who attends gatherings involving more than two households, whether vaccinated or not, must wear masks.
For vaccinated people, masks still need to be worn during public events, both indoors and outdoors. This includes neighborhood gatherings, worship services and weddings.
Even with gunshots, vaccinated people are told to avoid large outdoor gatherings, especially crowded ones, as well as indoor gatherings where there is no good ventilation.
The city also publishes guidelines on what vaccinated people should do if they have symptoms of COVID-19, are exposed to someone with it, or even have a positive test.
DC Health says vaccinated people who test positive should isolate themselves for 10 days after receiving the results. If exposed to the virus but vaccinated, the city said, a person usually does not need to be quarantined or tested, as long as there are no symptoms of COVID-19.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northum said Thursday that under the CDC’s new guidelines, people who have been fully vaccinated should no longer wear masks outdoors when alone or in small groups.
Masks for major events such as concerts, sporting events and diplomas are still required, regardless of vaccination status.
Northam also revised its executive order to allow crowds of up to 1,000 people at sporting events, accelerating the change, which was due to begin on May 15.
“The CDC’s recommendations underscore what we have been saying all along – vaccinations are the way to leave this pandemic behind and return to normal life,” Northam said in a statement. “Increasing the vaccination rate and reducing the number of new cases of COVID-19 has made it possible to alleviate mitigation measures in a thoughtful and measured way. I encourage all virgins who have not yet received the vaccine to make an appointment today. “
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has exceeded the CDC’s recommendation: On Wednesday, he announced the abolition of the state’s mandate for external masks. It also lifted all restrictions on outdoor eating, effective Saturday.
Masks for large tickets, indoor business and public transport will still be required, and indoor dining restrictions will remain in place for the time being.
However, the counties can go their own way under these restrictions, and not all of them follow the governor’s leadership.
For example, Montgomery County currently maintains its current rules.
“We will follow the CDC’s guidelines for disguise under the existing health policy, which directs us to use stricter CDC or state guidelines,” County Executive Director Mark Elrich said on Wednesday. “Despite his statement on the website, the governor’s order on the masks did not comply with CDC guidelines.”
Prince George’s County said in a statement Friday that it was revoking the open mandate for most activities.
“We will follow the CDC’s recommendation that fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should not wear a mask when walking, running, walking or cycling outdoors, or at small gatherings with household members or other fully vaccinated people,” he said. Angela Alsbrooks County. “While this is exciting news for fully vaccinated, we still urge caution and encourage those who have not been vaccinated to take the vaccine and join the growing number of Prince Georgians who are proud to be protected by COVID-19. . “
Baltimore, Howard, Charles and Calvert counties follow Hogan’s orders.
On Thursday, An Arundel County revoked its mandate to use masks and open public spaces.
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Looking for more information? DC, Maryland and Virginia publish more data every day. Visit their official websites here: Virginia Maryland DC
WTOP’s José Umaña, Mike Murillo and Zeke Hartner contributed to this report.