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masks on or off?

CDC eases its mask guidance for summer camps

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released another updated, relaxed mask guidance, this one pertaining to summer camps. 

The CDC's updated guidance released Friday said that adolescents who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 don't need to wear masks at summer camp, while younger kids can mostly not wear masks outdoors even though they haven't been vaccinated, The Washington Post reports. The CDC also said that "for camps where everyone is fully vaccinated prior to the start of camp, it is safe to return to full capacity, without masking, and without physical distancing."

At the same time, NBC News noted that the guidelines were "somewhat murky" for unvaccinated children, which includes those younger than 12, as no vaccine has been approved in the U.S. for that age group. The CDC says that wearing masks indoors is "strongly encouraged for people who are not fully vaccinated, including children." When it comes to oudoors, "in general, people do not need to wear masks," the CDC says. 

But the CDC adds that "particularly in areas of substantial to high transmission, people who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated." The guidance, NBC noted, didn't go into specifics about outdoor activities where a mask would be recommended. 

"I think camps are going to need a little more support and information," Dr. Richard Besser, former CDC acting director of the CDC, told NBC. "If CDC can get more specific, it would be helpful."

The Post wrote that the guidelines amounted to a "complex set of considerations that may set camps scrambling just days before they launch," also noting that the CDC says camps can still stick to previous guidance and require masks for everyone if they choose.