As President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday, 200 million vaccine doses have now been administered in the U.S. since he took office in January this year and the number keeps rising (via NBC News). That means everyone over the age of 16 in now eligible to get vaccinated. But it begs the question, do you still need to wear a mask outdoors? According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, not necessarily.
“If you’re vaccinated, I’d say for the most part, you don’t need to wear a mask outdoors,” Gupta said on CNN’s “New Day” (via CNN). And Krystal Pollitt, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, agrees. “A lot of it really comes down to still thinking of the level of risk of the situation around you and the people around you, especially,” she told The Washington Post. So it’s all about weighing up your risks when you’re out and about.
When you're outdoors, you should still practice social distancing
As Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and viral transmission expert, told the New York Times, one way of thinking about it is to use her “two-out-of-three rule”. Basically, ensure you are two of these three things — outdoors, distanced, and masked. “If you’re outdoors, you either need to be distanced or masked,” she explained. “If you’re not outdoors, you need to be distanced and masked.”
And remember, you should be absolutely fine to exercise without a mask as long as you’re exercising outside. “When you’re walking your dog, you’re going for a run or you’re on a bicycle, these are really not risky situations for either you or the people who you might transiently pass,” Paul Sax, clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told the Washington Post.
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