In the small town of Oxford, Nebraska, the school district last month resigned from its masked mandate, which was a fairly simple decision. Cases had plummeted, and local officials were not worried that their move had failed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. guidelines:
These federal mask guidelines did not seem to be very relevant to local conditions in a city of about 800 people, where hardly anyone would apply a mask.
“We have not paid full attention to what is happening at the federal level, especially what is happening in the state,” said Bryce Jorgensen, a South Valley inspector. “You just can’t compare Chicago to Oxford, Nebraska. “Things are just different.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday eased its guidelines for wearing masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to cover their faces as long as they are in a large crowd of strangers. And those who are not vaccinated can also go out without a mask in some situations.
For most of last year, the CDC advised Americans to wear masks outdoors if they were within 6 feet of each other.
The decision marked the last step of the US government towards normalcy, but it was adopted because most of the country had already passed the rules of masks. The CDC actually endorsed what many Americans were already doing.
On the same day that the CDC updated its guidelines, the governor of Louisiana partially removed the masked mandate of the state, the first Democrat governor during Biden’s presidency to take such a step. Elsewhere, local government officials abolished mask rules, and in many states, face masking is rare, especially indoors.
Jud Udi Adams, 73, of Montgomery, Alabama, said he had not worn a mask outside since the first days of the epidemic a year ago, and only puts them in when shops order them. Alabama had a state mask mandate until earlier this month when the governor allowed it to expire.
“I think it’s funny because it doesn’t help,” he said of the mask’s rules. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s nothing but control և fear. ”
Since the outbreak, the federal government has struggled to achieve public health-related consistency from state to state. The CDC has issued instructions on masks, social distance, travel and other activities, but managers remain committed to these measures. Some states have never had mask mandates, while others still have them on books.
“Today, I hope, is a day when we can step back to normalcy,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky on Tuesday. “Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what you can not do. Today I will tell you some things you can do if you are fully vaccinated. ”
The CDC says that regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated, people do not have to wear masks outdoors when walking, cycling or running alone or with family members. An unvaccinated person may also go in small masks to a small outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated people.
But unvaccinated people who are described as those who have yet to receive both doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-time John Onson-Onson formula should wear masks to outdoor gatherings involving other unvaccinated people, says the CDC. They also have to cover their faces when having dinner in outdoor restaurants with many household friends.
And everyone, whether fully vaccinated or not, should continue to wear masks to outdoor events such as concerts or sporting events, says the CDC.
The agency continues to offer masks in closed public places, such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping malls, gyms, museums and cinemas, saying it is an even safer lesson even for vaccinated people.
The change comes as more than half of US adults (or about 140 million people) have received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.
Valensky said that the decision is conditioned by the increase in the number of vaccinations. Decreased COVID-19 cases, hospitalization և deaths; և A study showing that less than 10% of documented cases of virus transmission occurred outside.
The new guide is another carefully crafted step on the road to recovery from a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 570,000 people in the United States.
Rob Webster, a 49-year-old church worker in Plano, Texas, said the new guidelines seemed “reasonable” but he had some reservations.
“My only concern is that there are so many people who want to save the system all the same,” said Wester, communications director at Custer Road United Methodist Church, which requires masks on church property, including for outdoor youth meetings.
“So I do not know if I have been to a group of people who did not wear a mask, are they really vaccinated?” … It may make me a little more afraid, less confident in the people around me. ”
In the Nebraska School District, Superintendent Jorgensen said the district decided to abolish its mask rule based on conditions in the state, which had never had a state mask mandate.
Last fall, the region saw a high risk of the virus, with cases reaching across the country, but since January, there has not been a single case, and less than a dozen cases have been reported in two states in the region when they made the decision.
Jorgensen noted that the district is still cautious; students will be required to quarantine for 10 days if they test positive for the virus, but the mask’s mandate no longer seemed necessary.
“It’s not that we threw everything out the window. We are still watching it closely, we are monitoring the possible situations. “But it just seems like a little extreme,” Jorgensen said of the federal mask proposals. “I think we have people here who can make some good local decisions, so that’s why we did it the way we did.”
Associated Press writer John on enenor contributed to this report. The AP Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.