In a new public health recommendation, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that fully vaccinated people can start going without masks both outdoors and indoors, for the most part. People who are at least two weeks past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, can now "resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic," according to the CDC's "When You've Been Fully Vaccinated" page.

The guidelines say vaccinated folks "can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart," but add that masking and social distancing rules put in place by state and local laws or regulations, or by businesses, should still be followed. In addition, the CDC that vaccinated travelers inside the USA will no longer need to get tested before or after travel, and won't need to self-quarantine after travel, either. Masks are still required for travel on airliners, buses, and trains, however, and the CDC says international travelers should follow the rules for their destination country.

Mind you, if you're more comfortable still wearing a mask, then go ahead and do that. I think that since I live in Idaho, where vaccination rates are low and too many people think the virus is a hoax, I may just keep masking up anyway for the sake of underlining that masks matter.


There are still some situations in which masks may be required; if workplaces or local businesses require masks, no you may not proclaim yourself no longer bound by their tyranny. Vaccinated people who have been around someone who has COVID-19 no longer need to stay away from others or get tested, but should watch out for symptoms and get tested and stay home if they develop. And people with weakened immune systems should consult with their doctors about the best course of action to stay safe.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters at a press briefing,

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 that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.

Unvaccinated people should continue wearing masks and social distancing, she added, because they remain at risk of getting sick, and COVID-19 didn't magically stop being a serious illness just because the mask guidelines for vaccinated people have changed.

Walensky also said that there's still the possibility that the CDC could change the mask guidelines again if there's a resurgence of the virus, particularly if new variants lead to widespread infections.

Washington Post reporter Philip Bump is almost certainly right about this, too:

By pure coincidence, the very day that the CDC said vaccinated people can venture out in public again, this ad for Extra gum was released too, with a completely fictional depiction of everybody making out with everybody else someday in the near future.

We love it, and can hardly wait for the inevitable calls for a gum boycott by the One Million (But Actually Like Three, Tops) Moms group, because there are a few frames of guys kissing each other. Somewhere at Breitbart, that moral scold who worried that a Skittles ad was encouraging people to fuck walruses is no doubt typing up an angry denunciation.

Stay safe, celebrate, and encourage everyone you love to get vaccinated! And remember, however much gum you chew, enthusiastic consent is still required, OK?

OPEN THREAD!

[CDC / CNBC]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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