Chicago’s top doctor looks at new CDC mask guidelines – NBC Chicago
Chicago’s top doctor said on Tuesday the city would follow new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on wearing masks outdoors, calling the changes “exciting.”
The CDC revealed on Tuesday that those vaccinated no longer need to cover their faces unless they are in a large crowd of strangers. Officials said the focus will be in the coming weeks on relaxing advice for those vaccinated, both in recognition of their low risk and to encourage them to get vaccinated.
Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said she supported the decision, but noted that the changes are highly dependent on the future of vaccinations.
“The point here in everything we’re making is that when you’re vaccinated it’s the big difference between whether you’re at significant risk for COVID,” Arwady said. “And what’s different in the fact that, you know, yes, we still have almost 550 new cases of COVID every day. It is a high risk. In general, the way we have already thought about COVID means that when you are gathering in an environment there can be a significant risk, but the thing which is now different is that this risk is completely divided according to whether it is. This is a highly vaccinated environment. If you are in a highly vaccinated environment, if you yourself are vaccinated and the vast majority of people around you are vaccinated, the risk of contracting COVID, even with 550 cases in Chicago, is very, very, very. , very, very low. “
Arwady said she expects the city to start “turning that dial” and allow another reopening in the days and weeks to come, depending on vaccine use. However, she did not specify what this reopening could include.
“We’ll be, I sort of plan over the next few days, turn that dial and announce an additional reopening because you’ve heard we’re making really good progress here, but I want people to hear it during this. reopening … we assume that the people of Chicago will continue to make this decision to get vaccinated, “Arwady said at a press conference.
The Illinois Department of Health said Monday it plans to follow the CDC’s masking guidelines.
“For now, Illinois plans to stay in accordance with the CDC’s masking guidelines,” the IDPH said in a statement.
CDC guidelines say that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear masks outside when walking, cycling or running alone or with members of their household. They may also do without masks at small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.
But from there, the CDC has different directions for people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.
Unvaccinated people – defined by the CDC as those who have not yet received the two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson single-use formula – should wear masks during outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They should also continue to use masks in outdoor restaurants.
Fully immunized people don’t need to cover up in these situations, according to the CDC.
However, everyone should continue to wear masks at crowded outdoor events such as concerts or sporting events, according to the CDC.
And the agency continues to recommend masks in indoor public places, such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping malls, gyms, museums and cinemas, saying it is still the safest course, even for vaccinated people.
Illinois has been under a statewide mask mandate for over a year, which states:
“Anyone over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a face mask (a mask or cloth covering the face) is required to cover their nose and mouth with a face mask when in a public place and unable to maintain at least six. – social distancing at the feet. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in an outdoor space. “
A review paper published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, found that less than 10% of transmission occurs outdoors and the chances of the virus spreading indoors were 19 times higher, NBC News Reports.
Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., Criticized Dr Anthony Fauci for wearing a face mask after being vaccinated. “You are parading in a mask for the show,” Paul told Fauci on Thursday. “Here we are again with the theater,” replied Fauci. “Let me say for the record that masks are not theater.”
Some medical experts have increasingly called for restrictions on masks to be relaxed for outdoor activities.
Dr Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island, told NBC News that indoor masks should always be mandatory, but outdoor infections are rare and tend to occur when large groups congregate in confined spaces for long periods of time.
“At this point in the pandemic, with more than half of Americans vaccinated, it’s pretty reasonable to start thinking about removing the outdoor mask warrants,” Jha said.
Dr Paul Sax, clinical director of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, also agreed, writing in a blog post on the New England Journal of Medicine website that it might be time to lift warrants, especially in places where people can safely distance themselves.
“Transmissions do not take place between solitary individuals walking around, passing each other transiently on the street, on a hiking trail, or on a jogging track,” Sax wrote. “This rider who walks by without a mask poses no danger to us, at least from the point of view of respiratory viruses.”
Sax also stressed that indoor mask regulations should persist, at least until more people are vaccinated.
The CDC has released new guidelines for summer camps.
However, experts at Northwestern University say that keeping the masks on when you are outside – even after being vaccinated – is not only “social courtesy” but also helps “to model behavior. “Children, who can’t yet get the A mask shows” your civic engagement, the fact that you’re engaged, “said Mercedes Carnethon, vice president of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “You are sending the signal that you are behaving in a socially appropriate manner.”