CDC DIRECTOR ROCHELLE WALENSKY: “We have all longed for this moment”
A major milestone in the fight against the coronavirus that will usher in a new phase of reopening in America.
The U.S. Centers for Disease on Thursday said anyone who has been fully vaccinated can resume indoor and outdoor activities safely without a mask or physical distancing.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky:
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities large or small without wearing a mask or physical distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things you had stopped doing during the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Walensky said the science and data on vaccinated individuals led health officials to Thursday’s unmasking decision but noted that face coverings will still be required in certain settings.
"It's a good day for the country"
U.S. President Joe Biden celebrated the milestone on Thursday.
“Your country asked you to get vaccinated. You did. The American people stepped up. You did what I consider to be your patriotic duty. That's how we've gotten to this day… We’ll laugh again, we’ll know joy again, and we’ll smile again.”
The CDC still recommends vaccinated people wear masks on planes and trains, and at airports, transit hubs, mass transit and in places like hospitals and doctor's offices.
People who are immunocompromised should speak to their healthcare provider about giving up their mask and those who develop COVID symptoms should put their mask back on and get tested right away.
The agency hopes Thursday’s announcement will prod more Americans to get vaccinated.
WALENSKY: “The science is also very clear about unvaccinated people. You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask and you should get vaccinated right away.”
The CDC said more guidance would soon be forthcoming on masking for businesses with patrons and schools and said that those decisions would ultimately be made and the state and local level.