Fully vaccinated adults no longer need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings, according to an announcement Thursday by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities—large or small—without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” said Dr. Walensky. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
The announcement is a major milestone on the path to normalcy following 14 months of pandemic life. On the state level, the California Department of Public Health still has a mask mandate for fully vaccinated people, and has yet to announce any changes to that mandate. The CDPH didn’t respond to a request to comment, but, most recently, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state’s mandate would likely lift on June 15, when the economy fully opens. The L.A. County Department of Public Health announced that it will be reviewing its own orders shortly. According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, “In the interim, I do want to note that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask when they’re indoors around other full vaccinated people, or when they’re outside in uncrowded areas.”
For many, however, this new easing of mask requirements adds confusion to what has become a deeply politicized issue, as comedian Kathy Griffin alluded to on Twitter, saying, “Ok, but if I go mask less [sic] because I’m fully vaxxed, will people think I’m an anti masker/COVID denier?”
Ok, but if I go mask less because I’m fully vaxxed, will people think I’m an anti masker/COVID denier?
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 13, 2021
Yet, for many of the 3.4 million people aged 16 and up who have been fully vaccinated in Los Angeles County, today’s announcements are welcomed news.
Gonna take a walk and leave my mask at home. What is life.
— Gillian H. Clow (@gillianbcn) May 13, 2021
Still, some claimed they will continue wearing their mask for personal reasons, from continued paranoia about the virus and people who refuse to get vaccinated to a sheer distaste for others.
i'm still going to wear a KN-95 mask indoors because i've realized over the past year that i really don't like how other people smell https://t.co/UgIr4m49jp
— Erin Jab Enthusiast Ryan (@morninggloria) May 13, 2021
I’m a little nervous about the new CDC masking guidelines. Although I am fully vaccinated, I will for now continue to wear a mask when in crowds, shopping indoors, in medical centers, and on transit, and during cold/flu season. It will be wonderful to see people’s faces again.
— Dan Wentzel (@danwentzel) May 13, 2021
I will only stop wearing the mask when the CDC says men who tell women to smile will spontaneously combust.
— Juliet Bennett Rylah (@JBRylah) May 13, 2021
Ready to join the land of the maskless? Visit L.A. County Public Health’s website to find out how to get a shot.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.