WASHINGTON – The Biden government is scheduled to relax federal guidelines for wearing masks outdoors earlier this week, a source familiar with the plans told NBC News.
The announcement, which may come as early as Tuesday, could include separate recommendations for those fully vaccinated and those who have not received the coronavirus vaccine, added the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The administration is finalizing the guidelines, NBC reported.
Over the weekend, the White House Chief Medical Officer, Dr. However, Anthony Fauci, suggesting the new mask tour was imminent, also warned Americans should adhere to public health measures until the CDC does an assessment.
“What I think you’re going to hear, what the country is about to hear is updated guidelines from the CDC,” Fauci told ABC’s Sunday program “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”. “The CDC is a science-based organization. You don’t want to make guidelines unless you look at the data and the data back it up.”
“But if you look around in the common sense situation, the risk is very small, especially if you are vaccinated,” he said.
The CDC’s current guidance states, “Masks may not be required when you are alone outside of others or with people who live in your household.”
“However, some areas may have mask mandates when you are in public. So please check the rules in your area (such as your city, county, or state). Also, check for federal mask mandates where you are apply, “adds the agency.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said he supported the expected guidance from the CDC. He added that further research shows that very few Covid-19 infections occur outdoors.
But masks should still be prescribed indoors until most of the US population is vaccinated and it is difficult for the virus to spread from one person to another.
“It’s been over a year. We have a very good understanding of who gets infected and how they get infected,” he told CNBC in a telephone interview. “I think it’s fair to say you don’t have to wear a mask outside unless you can’t maintain 2 meters or 6 feet of social distance.”
“Masking outdoors probably doesn’t provide any additional protection,” he added.
On Monday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that he believed outdoor mask mandates were no longer necessary as the US vaccinated more people.
More than 42% of the US population have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to CDC data, including 28.5% who were fully vaccinated.
“People could choose to wear a mask if they want. I think there shouldn’t be any requirement that they wear masks outdoors,” the former commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration said on Squawk Box.