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the coronavirus crisis

CDC says fully vaccinated people generally don't need to wear masks outdoors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines on wearing masks outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC's new guidance on Tuesday said that it's generally safe for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to not wear a mask outdoors when not in crowded settings, The Washington Post reports.

A graphic released by the CDC outlined various specific situations in which fully vaccinated people don't need to wear a mask, including walking, running, or biking outdoors with members of their household or attending small outdoor gatherings. Fully vaccinated people can also safely dine outdoors with friends from multiple households without a mask, according to the guidelines.

"Generally, for vaccinated people, outdoor activities without a mask are safe," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing. "However, we continue to recommend masking in crowded outdoor settings and venues, such as packed stadiums and concerts."

The guidance said that unvaccinated people also don't need to wear a mask while walking, running, or biking outdoors with household members and while attending small, outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends. But it still recommended unvaccinated people wear a mask at outdoor gatherings with unvaccinated people.

Aerosol scientist Linsey Marr told The New York Times she welcomes these new "less restrictive" guidelines, while also raising concerns that they may be too complex.

"I can't remember this," Marr said. "I would have to carry around a sheet of paper — a cheat sheet with all these different stipulations. I worry that this is not as helpful as it could be." Brendan Morrow