CDC issues new outdoor mask guidance for vaccinated people

PALMYRA, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Centers for Disease Control issued new outdoor mask guidance for fully vaccinated people on Tuesday afternoon, a day after New Jersey announced changes to gatherings.

People are considered fully immunized two weeks after their final dose.

According to the CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people can unmask for outdoor activities like walking your dog or going for a run.

The guidance states fully immunized people also do not need masks to dine outdoors with friends from multiple households.

However, the CDC recommends even fully vaccinated people keep masks on for outdoor crowded events like parades, concerts, and sporting events.

Masks are also still a must in public indoor spaces.

The CDC is calling for caution because it's still not clear whether a vaccinated person can transmit the virus.

Less than a third of the country has been fully vaccinated, meaning much of the population remains at risk.

The CDC released a 'Choosing Safer Activities' graphic showing activities where masks are recommended.

New Jersey Eases Restrictions

The new mask guidance comes a day after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced he was easing restrictions on certain indoor and outdoor gatherings, including graduations and proms, starting on May 10.

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that more people can now attend indoor events in New Jersey, including proms, weddings and performances.

Over at Palmyra High School, prom preparations are full steam ahead.

As tradition goes at this school, the juniors plan the junior and senior prom.

The students have had to remain flexible.

"It's a lot more confusing than it has been in the past," said junior Dennis Murnane.

"We didn't even have a count on how many people would be going, and we still had to try to plan it," said Junior Class President Molly Jackson.

It's a smaller school, so the district had already planned to hold prom in May, but Governor Murphy's announcement increasing gathering limits Monday confirms prom is a go.

"That's a little bit of normal during this time, so it's definitely good to be able to have it," said junior Emma Maniscalco.

Jackson added, "I love everything about school spirit, so dances, homecoming are super special to me, but we didn't get to do any of that this year, and especially the seniors that didn't get a prom last year- it's really important that we will finally be able to give them their high school experience."

The limit on outdoor gatherings in New Jersey will also increase to 500, which will allow for larger graduation ceremonies.

Palmyra School District Superintendent Dr. Brian McBride explained the school can now welcome more people on their football field come graduation.

"Initially, we were going to put a limit on the number of parents that could attend so looks like we don't have to do that, so we'll be able to open up to our typical capacity for outdoor part," Dr. McBride said.

As far as prom goes, Dr. McBride is thrilled the students will be able to gather and dance, with precautions in place of course.

"These students have worked hard, they've sacrificed quite a bit over the course of time here, and I would really hope they could get out on the dance floor and have a great time because that's what it's really about," explained McBride.
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