The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced at the White House Thursday it has lifted mask mandates for fully vaccinated Americans.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities large or small without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
Walensky delivered the celebratory news at the White House coronavirus task force briefing.
“This is an exciting and powerful moment,” she said.
Walensky cited a “growing understanding” of a “low risk” of vaccinated Americans transmitting the virus as one of the reasons to lift mask mandates for vaccinated Americans.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” she said. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
She defined “fully vaccinated” as a person who is two weeks past their second mRNA Moderna or Pfizer shot.
But Walensky sent a warning to unvaccinated people, saying they should continue masking and social distancing until they are fully vaccinated.
“You remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or of spreading the disease to others,” she said. “You should still mask, and you should get vaccinated right away.”
Walensky cautioned that if the threat of the virus returned, the CDC could restore mask mandates and that immunocompromised people should speak to a doctor before getting rid of their masks.
The CDC also released an updated chart: