What is safe indoors without a face mask? Here is a breakdown

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines confuse many people. With new updates every few days, it’s difficult to keep track of the most current rules, which vary based on whether or not you are vaccinated.

According to the latest CDC guidelines, you no longer need to wear face masks when you are vaccinated. Almost. This all varies by state and company, which makes this whole process a lot more complicated than you think.

Infectious disease experts emphasize the importance of each person’s individual risk and comfort, as well as the state of infection in their community. If a person is young, vaccinated, has no underlying health conditions, and lives in a low transmission area, they are better off than someone who is at high risk and lives in a place where COVID-19 infections are high .

Here are some guidelines for wearing masks indoors. If you are not vaccinated, it is best to hold on to your mask for a while:

gym

Photo by Humphrey Muleba

Once you have been vaccinated you are very unlikely to spread COVID-19. However, whether you wear a mask depends on the gym itself. To help keep staff and customers safe and to avoid problems reviewing vaccination logs, some gyms may require people to wear their masks indoors.

Indoor restaurants and bars

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While you should still be polite when entering and exiting a restaurant (maybe even using the toilet), you should be fine without a mask. Nonetheless, when it comes to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, they should be careful as they are at greater risk and there is no way to know if their servers, neighbors, etc. are vaccinated.

job

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As in most indoor situations, your people matter. If they are all vaccinated there is no problem. However, dealing with this is difficult and requires a lot of planning and sincerity from employers and employees. Some experts suggest separating employees based on vaccination status so that vaccinated people can go back to work in the office and unvaccinated employees can continue working from home.

Parties

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Whether the congregation is big or small, if you are vaccinated you should be fine. Unvaccinated individuals who pose a risk to others should wear their masks in case the gathering is large. When the majority of people are vaccinated, the risk for the party of dissolving into a super-spreader event should be much less.

Venues

Photo via pxhere.com

Despite the fact that venues like theaters result in people standing in the same place for long periods of time, vaccinated people should be fine to go without a mask. Still, you should follow your state’s guidelines. The bigger problem here is concerts as people tend to sing and stand or sit together. Wearing it without a mask is fine, especially if you are low-risk and young and vaccinated. Even if vaccinated people get COVID-19, the chances of developing a serious infection are very small.

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