New CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors, but many companies like Starbucks and some state and local governments have yet to relax their own mask rules.
“The whole country is not a homogeneous space,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said Thursday, explaining that the CDC does not overcome state and local restrictions. “So we have some jurisdictions that have higher levels of cases. We have some jurisdictions that have lower levels of vaccine administration.”
Big companies like Walmart, Target, Kroger, Home Depot, CVS, Walgreens, Macy’s and Starbucks maintain policies that force employees and buyers to disguise themselves, at least for now, according to Insider.
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current security practices, the latest CDC guidelines and soliciting feedback from partners to guide the next phase of our policy,” a Kroger spokesman told Insider .
Two unions representing grocery store workers and retailers said CDC guidelines need clarification and put their members at risk.
“While we all share the desire to return to mask-free normalcy, the current CDC guidelines are confusing and do not take into account how it will affect essential workers who are frequently exposed to people who are not vaccinated and refuse to wearing masks, ”Marc Perrone of the United Food and Commercial Workers said in a statement.
Lisa LaBruno, senior executive vice president of the Association of Retail Industry Leaders, said the group seeks CDC coherence.
“Today’s CDC ad about masks creates ambiguity for retailers because it doesn’t fully fit state and local orders,” he said. “These conflicting positions place retailers and their employees in incredibly difficult situations. We urge state and local governments to coordinate with the CDC, as additional guidance is given on the road to normalcy.”
Walt Disney World May Relax Mask Policy
In response to CDC guidelines, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek says the mask policy for theme parks can be withdrawn or relaxed this summer, according to the company’s website. It did not provide an exact time frame.
Current policy requires guests over the age of 2 to wear masks except when eating, drinking, swimming or taking an outdoor photo as long as the proper physical distance is maintained.
Disney is already easing other restrictions, as temperature controls will be removed on May 16 and physical distancing measures will be reduced.
Cuomo says the New York Reviewing Guidance
Some governors want to study the guidelines before deciding whether to continue with it.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is one of them, stating that the state “has always relied on facts and science to guide us through all the worst of this pandemic and the successful reopening.” .
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hailed the new CDC guidelines, but also said it needs to be revised, according to The New York Times.
A spokesman for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also said the state standard for interior masks will remain in place for now, the Time reported. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has already said the state mask mandate will be maintained until June 15 if the number of cases continues to decline.
Still, the Time reported that at least seven Democratic-led states began lifting mask warrants Thursday after the CDC announcement: Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
“This is a benefit for people who have been bothered by this mask,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who began a meeting Thursday by removing his mask. “That’s a good reason to get vaccinated. This shot is a ticket to getting rid of masks.”
Several states led by Republican governors, such as Texas, have already loosened mask rules.
The new CDC guide says people who are completely vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks or physical distance, regardless of location or size of concentration.
Walensky said there are some clear exceptions. Those with symptoms should wear masks, according to the CDC, and everyone should wear masks while traveling by plane, bus or train and while inside hospitals, homeless shelters and prisons.
“Science shows that if it’s fully vaccinated, it’s protected,” Walensky said, saying the travel guide will be updated soon.
CDC Shift surprised many in public health
The CDC announcement surprised many health experts, who expected a federal mask policy to last at least a few more months. The New York Times.
The paper surveyed 723 epidemiologists between April 28 and May 10, before the CDC announced the new mask guide.
When asked to predict how long Americans should wear masks when they were indoors with people unaware of the state of the vaccination, only 5% of respondents said the United States no longer they should wear a mask inside.
The survey said 26% thought masks should be used in these situations from now on, 26% said for more than a year, 29% said a year and 15 % said half a year.
When asked if a mask should be worn outdoors in a large outdoor crowd, 88% of epidemiologists said yes, even for fully vaccinated people.
Many of the respondents noted that masks protect unvaccinated people and people with underlying health conditions.
“Until the community transmission is lower, it protects the entire community and the rest of the people in the room from wearing masks,” she told Julia Raifman, ScD, an assistant professor of public health at Boston University. Time.
Insider: “Walmart, Target and Starbucks say they keep mask mandates despite CDC’s relaxing guidelines for vaccinated people. That’s how stores are responding to the new guidelines.”
United Commercial and Food Workers: “The CDC Vaccine Masks Policy must recognize the challenges that essential retail and grocery workers still face.”
Association of Retail Industry Leaders: “Retailers want guidance on masks.”
Walt Disney World News Today: “UPDATE: CEO Bob Chapek gives specific tips in the summer for changes in Walt Disney World’s mask policy.”
New York Governor’s Office: “Statement by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on CDC’s New Guidance on Mask Use and Social Distancing for Vaccinated Persons.”
The New York Times: “Some states raise the mandates of masks for vaccinated people, while others cautiously salute the new CDC guidelines,” “Hundreds of epidemiologists expected to wear the mask in public at least once a year.”