INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – President Biden announced the Centers for Disease Control’s updated mask guidelines on Tuesday afternoon.
Masking is no longer required outdoors, but there are a few caveats: People must be with a small group and everyone in the group must be vaccinated.
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While Indiana lifted nearly all of its outdoor mask mandates earlier this month, today’s new recommendations are another sign of hope that the country is one step closer to putting the pandemic behind us.
“I think what we’re seeing is an attempt to link some loosening of these restrictions with vaccinations,” Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health, told News 8. “Trying to get [people] vaccinated so they can feel comfortable around loosening some of these restrictions like the ones around masking.”
Hoosiers had mixed reactions about today’s announcement. Some told News 8 it’s about time the mandates were lifted while others — despite the CDC saying it’s safe — will continue to mask no matter what.
While the rate of spread is relatively low right now, Doehring says, it’s still important Indiana exercises good judgement and continues masking where the risk of infection is high. This includes indoor spaces and being in close proximity with people outside your inner circle. Vaccine immunity hovers around 90%, but there is still that 10 percent chance of infection if people don’t remain vigilant.