Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we were all waiting for the vaccines. Then the vaccines arrived, along with a new message that caught a lot of people off guard: Even after you’re vaccinated, you have to keep wearing a face mask wherever you go.
Dr. Stephanie Silvera, Professor in the Public Health Department, noted that she expects the guidance will continue to evolve over the next several weeks based on the numbers of people vaccinated, the new case numbers and what we learn about any new variants of the virus. The guidance isn’t about creating a “free for all,” she said, but it does lay out some situations where people can shed their masks based on the risk level of those around them.
“No measure is 100% protective, but I think these guidelines are starting to really send home the message and indicate that this is reducing the risk by quite a bit,” Dr. Silvera said. “And so with reduced risk, that means that we can have a little bit more freedom to do some of the things that we wanted to do.”
Additionally, “We shouldn’t whip our masks off and invite our whole extended family over for a party or get-together, but be mindful that different people have different risk profiles,” Dr. Silvera said. “If you’re somebody who’s vaccinated, and you’re around a pregnant woman who is not vaccinated, put your mask on, because we know pregnant women have a higher risk for severe illness, and we want to protect them.”