WASHINGTON, D.C. — With more than half of all adults in the U.S. now having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. government is allowing fully vaccinated people to safely engage in outdoor activities like walking and gathering without wearing masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows more than a third of all adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated.
People should continue to use face-coverings in public spaces where they are required, U.S. health regulators and President Biden said on Tuesday, while urging those who have not done so to get the shot. The CDC says fully-vaccinated people can safely dine outdoors with friends from multiple households at restaurants and attend small outdoor gatherings with a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, but masks are recommended for crowded outdoor events such as parades and sporting events.
Last week saw the country’s biggest percentage drop in weekly new coronavirus cases since February, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data. The White House is trying to overcome vaccine hesitancy and Biden offered the new mask guidelines as another reason to get the jab on Tuesday.
“So, for those who haven’t gotten their vaccination, especially if you’re younger or thinking you don’t need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated,” Biden said.
The U.S. has administered 232,407,669 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Tuesday morning and distributed 297,543,635 doses. Just over 29 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated, the CDC reported, and 43 percent have had one dose of the two-shot vaccines.
The CDC has classified activities as “red”, “yellow” and “green” based on level of safety for unvaccinated people. It said unvaccinated people can also walk and run unmasked with household members outdoors safely and attend small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends.
Data on whether vaccinated people can spread infection to those who did not receive their shots is limited and the CDC warned that people should evaluate risk to friends and family before going out without masks.
This is an update to the CDC’s guidance, which in March said people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can meet without masks indoors in small groups with others who also have been inoculated.
— Wire and staff