(Associated Press) The nation’s top infectious disease expert is acknowledging “confusion” after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in most instances, even indoors.
Dr. Anthony Fauci tells ABC News, “The problem and the issue is that we don’t have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and who’s not vaccinated.”
He says it is “reasonable and understandable” that some businesses and localities are maintaining mask requirements because they can’t be sure of an individual’s vaccination history. But he says it’s important to note those measures protect the unvaccinated from each other, and vaccines provide a high level of protection for those who have gotten them.
Fauci says children who are not vaccinated — including children under 12 who won’t be eligible for vaccines for months — should continue to wear masks indoors. But he says that recommendation could change as the CDC conducts more research and more Americans get shots.
Vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or social distance in New York starting Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The governor said the state is adopting the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week.
“Let’s get back to life,” Cuomo said. “If you are vaccinated, you are safe, no masks, no social distancing.”
Cuomo urged people who are unvaccinated and immunocompromised to continue to wear a mask and social distance.
The North Dakota Department of Health on Monday issued new guidance on coronavirus masks.
State health officer Nizar Wehbi says the department is aligning with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing a mask indoors and outdoors.
The risk of being infected or spreading COVID-19 once fully vaccinated is very low, and therefore wearing a mask if you are fully vaccinated is no longer a recommendation, the health department said in a statement.
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
A recommendation remains that everyone wears masks when they are in a health care setting, when they are traveling on public transportation, including airplanes, and when they are in a business or employer that requires masks, health officials said.