Preparing for changes with new CDC guidelines

NOW: Preparing for changes with new CDC guidelines

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced new outdoor face mask guidelines from the CDC. This comes as more than half of U.S adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot, and over a third fully vaccinated against the virus. 

While previous CDC guidance advised that people should wear face masks outdoors if they’re within that 6-foot distance of one another, now fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they’re around a group of people they don't know, and in some cases, unvaccinated people can even ditch the face coverings too. 

Some community members, not exactly hip on the idea just yet.  

“You know I think they’ve been wrong before,” Howard Park Public House President Mark Tarner said. “I was just in Texas and the governor took off the mask mandate and more Texans wore masks than ever before; I think people didn’t want to be told what do to. So, I think the public is going to figure it out.” 

“I don’t think it should be opened yet. I think that we need to be able to find out about the variants and we need to have a booster shot down the road, I think people need to mask,” South Bend resident Leslie Garney said. 

While mask restrictions have lifted for outdoor settingsthe CDC says face coverings for indoor settings like a restaurant or concert is still a must. Keeping them onwill continue to be the plan of action as of now for Howard Park Public House. 

“I think we are going to keep the masks on a little bit longer just to be cautious. But we’ve had, we’re a healthy company and it’s an outdoor environment so I think maybe mid-summer we will be without masks,” Tarner said. 

“As long as there is space and the air, I’m good to go,” Garney said. 

Despite the new guidelinesto continue to keep the company and their customers healthyprior guidelines of those 6 feet of distance will be kept both indoors and outdoors. Tarner said it all comes down to people's comfortnot rulesto bring the masks down and business up. 

“I think once people feel comfort, the government shut our economy down, at least the restaurant economy down, and it’s going to take time for people to feel comfortable and I see that slowly coming back. I see out sales are about 60%, it’s coming up a little bit every month, and I think by this time next year we will be smiling at each other,” Tarner said. 

Here are the new mask guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to the CDC: 

  • If you are going on a walk, run, or biking outdoors with members of your household, both vaccinated and unvaccinated folks can be without a mask. 

  • If you are attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends, both vaccinated and unvaccinated folks can be without a mask. 

  • If you are attending a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, vaccinated folks can be without a mask but unvaccinated folks should not be without a mask.

  • If you are dining in at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, vaccinated folks can be without a mask but unvaccinated folks should not be without a mask.

  • If you are attending a crowded, outdoor event like a live performance, parade, or sports event, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should not be without a mask. 

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