Updated Face Mask Guidelines from the CDC

Updated Face Mask Guidelines from the CDC

(Yes, masks are still recommended!)

With the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC has updated its recommendations.

While the COVID-19 vaccine does protect you from getting sick, precautions are still prudent. And bear in mind that an individual is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving the full dosage of the vaccine. Once fully vaccinated, it is important to continue with preventive measures to help protect others:

  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain 6 feet of separation
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19

Now for the good news

In addition to protection from COVID-19, being fully vaccinated has other benefits:

  • You can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask
  • You can gather indoors with one other household (for example, a relative or close friend) of non-vaccinated people without wearing a mask
  • If you are exposed to COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you develop symptoms

Continue to prevent the spread

Because masks are a critical step in helping prevent people from getting COVID-19 and spreading it, everyone, vaccinated or not, should keep in mind basic CDC guidelines.

  • Wear masks in public settings, at events, gatherings, or anywhere they are around other people
  • Choose a mask that has two or more layers of breathable fabric
  • Ensure your mask fits snugly over your nose and mouth, with no gaps on either side
  • Choose a mask with a nose wire to ensure air does not leak out of the top
  • Don’t choose a mask that has exhalation valves or vents, as these can allow respiratory droplets to escape

Best mask-wearing practices

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content before putting your mask on
  • Have a spare mask on hand in case you need to change it
  • When removing your mask, touch only the ear loops
  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after removal

Other recommendations from the CDC

  • Masks should be worn by everyone age 2
  • Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations
  • Masks may not be needed in an outdoor setting if you are alone; however, some areas have mask mandates
  • Remember, masks are not a substitute for social distancing; be sure to maintain 6 feet of separation while wearing your mask