New CDC guidance on masking outdoors draws mixed reaction

‘It’s still too premature for us to relax,’ said one local health district director

ROANOKE, Va. – The CDC announced new recommendations on wearing face masks Tuesday, only impacting fully vaccinated Americans while outside.

However, people have varying opinions on this new guidance.

“I don’t think we need to wear them outside,” Judy Monahan said.

“I don’t think we should have to wear masks. I think it’s a means of control by the government,” Judy Huels said.

“If I thought I was going to be in close proximity, I’d wear a mask outside too,” Howard Zax said. “I hear people say ‘Oh my God, I can’t breathe with them.’ That’s a load of hooey,” Zax said.

As more Americans get vaccinated against the coronavirus, controversial restrictions are starting to ease up.

President Joe Biden announced new CDC guidance saying fully-vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they’re in a big crowd of strangers.

“Gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic, as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask,” Biden said.

It’s a shift for the CDC, advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they’re within six feet of other people for most of the past year.

There’s still no change in the guidance on masks indoors, where health experts say there’s a much higher risk of transmission.

This comes as COVID-19 cases continue dropping in the Roanoke Valley. Still, though, the local health district director says it’s not time to let our guard down yet.

“I’m hopeful that in the future we will be able to see some relaxation, but it’s still too premature for us to relax. The most important thing that we can all do is get vaccinated, continue to social distance and continue to wear masks,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, director of the Roanoke City & Alleghany Health Districts.

“I would just do whatever they said to do, that’s the easiest way for me to handle it,” Monahan said.

“It’s a little thing to protect not only yourself but the people around you,” Zax said.

The main message from Biden was that you’re going to be able to do more if you get vaccinated.

Click here for information on ways you can do that this week.

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Jessica anchors 10 News on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m. You can also catch her reporting during the week.

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