Are Masks Soon-To-Be a Thing of the Past?


Courtesy of WOODTV

As the United States increases its number of vaccinated citizens, the CDC has announced a major breakthrough in which vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks.

Riley Pietsch, Editor-in-Chief

Recently, Americans have been in an uproar over a new announcement regarding the need to wear masks in public. President Joe Biden announced in a speech on May 13 that “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the CDC — announced that they are no longer recommending that fully vaccinated people need wear masks. This recommendation holds true whether you are inside or outside.”

As the strenuous battle with COVID-19 surpassed the year mark back in March, the thought of living daily life without a mask on has lead many to feel as though it may be too good to be true. 

For students like Shayda Roshdieh (12) who have been vaccinated for a few months now, “it’s exciting to hear about new mandates and everything because it does feel like a step in the right direction.” While it may feel like our country is working its way back to normal, Shayda also stresses that “there could have been a better approach to regulation… to avoid the mass amount of people wanting to take off their masks long before they’re vaccinated.” 

With such a drastic change to the COVID protocols we have become so accustomed to, each state has taken matters into its own hands, as every state is approaching this new mandate differently. 

For Yorba Linda High School students, California is still sticking to the strict mask rules presented in the CDCs previous mask guidelines until they can say that the new mandate is safe. Last updated May 3, these guidelines require “masks to be worn by everyone indoors whenever outside the home, with exceptions, such as when a person is outside a workplace setting and everyone indoors is vaccinated, or when there are only members of one unvaccinated household present and all have a low risk of severe complications should they get COVID-19” (LA Times).

As for more specific rules regarding protocols in business, school, and other settings that may be more difficult to establish who is vaccinated, federal officials have decided it will likely be determined at the local level.

Unvaccinated people will have to continue to wear a mask when not six feet away from others, while fully vaccinated people will also need to wear a mask when in crowded settings like concerts, festivals, fairs, parades, and sporting events.

With this major announcement sparking many conversations, some fully vaccinated individuals have expressed their decision to continue to wear a mask even in settings it may no longer be required. In response to this, Dr. Fauci expressed that “I believe as the days go by — as we get a week or two into this — people are going to start feeling much more comfortable with this idea of going in an indoor situation, and if you’re vaccinated, taking the mask off” (LA Times).

California will uphold the previous COVID guidelines up until June 15, in which it will then fully reopen the economy and allow fully vaccinated people to go without a mask in most indoor situations. Regardless, you can always wear a mask if you prefer.