Without A Face Mask What's Safe To Do Inside ?

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  • Date:2021/05/24

The most recent guidance  states that people vaccinated against COVID-19 can lose the mask in most indoor settings, but that unvaccinated people will need to keep their masks up for the time being. Meanwhile, states and counties — even businesses — are updating their own policies, and in some cases completely dropping their mask rules. It’s a lot to unpack. 

The ever-changing mask guidance has got us all jumbled up again about what’s safe and risky when it comes to hanging out indoors.

The one thing experts still agree on: If you’re unvaccinated, or even partially vaccinated, you’ll want to hold on to that mask for a bit longer. Vaccinated people have the immunity to shed the mask indoors, but those who are immunocompromised will want to check in with a doctor first.

Unvaccinated: You’ll want to mask up at work. Contact tracing data from 2020 found that workplaces were a fairly common source of outbreaks. As more of your colleagues get vaccinated and as local cases decrease, your risk will drop.

Partially vaccinated: Your risk is lower, but you’re not in the clear until you get that second dose. “I would keep these employees masked with the unvaccinated until they are fully vaccinated to move into the unmasked region,” Gandhi said.

Vaccinated: If your colleagues are all vaccinated, there’s no reason for you to wear a mask at work. A tip from Gandhi: “employers should group their employees into the vaccinated and the unvaccinated so that the vaccinated are in a region where no masks or social distancing are needed.” 

The long and short of it: pay attention to your local guidance. If you’re unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, the safest thing to do is wear a face mask when spending time indoors with others who might also not be immune.

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