United States health authorities recommended this week that people vaccinated against COVID-19 who have completed the immunization period can be outdoors without a mask, unless they are in a crowd.
The recommendation of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further stipulates that vaccinated people can eat, walk or attend small outdoor social gatherings without wearing a mask. “Instead we continue to recommend wearing a mask at activities and in highly frequented places, such as packed stadiums or concerts,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
Only for the fully vaccinated
The agency emphasized that this relaxation of the guidelines only applies to people who have received both doses and who have acquired immunity two weeks after the second injection. In the United States, more than half of adults have already received at least one of the two doses of vaccines that require two inoculations.
However, initial enthusiasm for getting vaccinated has languished, but COVID-19 cases are on the decline. The CDC began recommending that all Americans – including the healthy population – wear masks in early April 2020. However, the rules vary by state. In this sense, each local administration is expected to adapt its regulations based on these new recommendations.
Currently, the consensus of experts estimates that the contagion of COVID-19 occurs mainly by air with drops of saliva that are suspended when a person coughs or sneezes, but that can also be emitted by speaking, shouting or singing. For this reason, being in a closed space is more risky if there is not adequate ventilation.
On the other hand, more air circulates outside and the risk of a person breathing a concentration of virus is lower, for example in the case of walking past someone infected. There are several studies that support this thesis and that show that the vast majority of infections occur when a person is in contact with an infected person in a closed space.