NYC doctor clears up COVID-19 confusion on CDC mask guidance

Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent the weekend trying to clear up confusion over their latest mask guidelines. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky made rounds on Sunday talk shows just days after announcing that fully vaccinated people no longer had to wear masks, but many people remain confused over the new guidance.

Epidemiologist Dr. Syra Madad with New York City Health and Hospitals spoke with PIX11 News to clear up some of the confusion over mask usage. 

Madad said there have been a lot of questions since the newly issued guidance, but many see it as a sign of positive news.

In terms of the new guidance, Madad said those who are fully vaccinated can resume most activities unmasked.

However 40% of Americans remain unvaccinated, according to Madad, which still put them at risk of infection and severe disease.

Vaccinated with young kids

Should fully vaccinated parents with young children keep their masks on? Dr. Madad said it’s important to model behavior for their kids, meaning adults should continue to wear their masks around kids even though they’ve been vaccinated. 

Madad also advised people to continue to wear masks in a congregate setting. 

In terms of reaching herd immunity, Madad said we’re not there yet as many people remain unvaccinated. 

Resuming a pre-pandemic lifestyle cannot be resumed until more vaccinations are administered, according to Madad.

Plane travel

Madad said those who are fully vaccinated can do a lot, including getting on a plane and traveling.
Those who are not fully vaccinated or have not received a vaccine should take full precautions when traveling, which include continued mask wearing. 

Store mask guidelines

Following the new guidelines, many stories also followed a change in rules, saying people don’t need to be masked if they’re fully vaccinated.

Madad said it’s a concern that several stores are lifting their mask mandate, especially since they will be focusing on the honor system rather than asking to see proof of vaccinations.

She suggests people continue to wear masks for the time being. 

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