CDC may update indoor mask guidance as COVID cases decline


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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The CDC currently recommends indoor masking in areas with substantial or high transmission, whether people are fully vaccinated or not, but that guidance can change soon.

As the country moves into a new phase of the pandemic and states across the nation begin to lift mask restrictions, the CDC may be next in changing mask guidance.

“We are looking at all of our guidance, based not only on where we are right now in the pandemic, but also on the tools we now have at our disposal, such as vaccines, boosters, tests, and treatments and our latest understanding of the disease,” said Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here in the state, the Massachusetts Department of Health is already updating its mask guidance.

The Department of Health now says that fully vaccinated people, without underlying health conditions, no longer need to wear a mask in public indoor settings. People who are fully vaccinated should still mask up indoors if they have weakened immune systems, are at severe risk of disease, or if they live with someone who is unvaccinated. However people still need to follow their local guidance.

Some western Massachusetts towns have already lifted their indoor mask mandates, most recently Greenfield. Here in Hampden County, the town of Longmeadow is still looking at the data.

“If we want to look at those guidelines and react to them we still have to establish a meeting date, give 48 hours publics notice before we can meet and revote on it,” Dr. Robert Baevsky of the Longmeadow Board of Health told 22News.

Baevsky says people should look to their community’s for masking guidance to avoid confusion when traveling to other towns.

CDC officials are still encouraging people to continue wearing a mask if they feel unwell, recently tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus.

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