SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — People who have been fully vaccinated can now take off their masks in most outdoor settings.
Tuesday, the CDC announced that people who are fully vaccinated can take their masks off at small, outdoor gatherings with both vaccinated and unvaccinated people and also while dining at outdoor restaurants with friends from multiple households.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can safely exercise outdoors without a mask on.
The CDC emphasized that “fully vaccinated” means two weeks after your final injection. For Pfizer and Moderna, that’s two weeks after the second dose. For Johnson & Johnson, that’s two weeks after the single dose.
Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, are advised to continue to wear masks at crowded, outdoor events, including live shows, parades or sporting events. Also, everyone is advised to continue to wear masks for most indoor settings, even if fully vaccinated.
A full list of the CDC recommendations can be found here:
Shortly after the CDC’s announcement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said California will loosen its COVID-19 mask mandate to align with the new federal guidance.
Newsom said the state has reviewed the new guidelines, "and with science and data as our guide, we are moving to align California's guidance with these common-sense updates."
Marie Russell is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operations Officer at True Care, a health center predominantly in North San Diego County. Russell said this step toward normalcy is a testament to the effectiveness of vaccinations.
“For so long we’ve been wondering what’s the way out and I think that we’re starting to see that, really, vaccination is the way out back to a level of normalcy,” said Russell.
She said she’s optimistic that as more people get vaccinated, the restrictions will continue to loosen. With projections that a majority of people will be vaccinated by the summer, normalcy could continue to return as 2021 progresses.
Russell acknowledged that both masks and vaccinations have been polarizing, so she noted that her one concern with this loosening of restrictions is that it might continue to cause a divide as some people still need to wear masks and others do not.
“I do have concern that it may create more tension because as you walk along the beach or you walk along the street, you don’t know who has been vaccinated or not,” she said.
She advises people to be understanding through this process.
“As we move through this guidance, we can only continue to encourage people to be kind to each other and to be supportive and to do the right thing in what science is telling us to do,” she said.