CDC may be easing its outdoor masking recommendations

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Mask wearing when leaving the house has become as common as putting on a coat when its cold. 

The word that the Centers for Disease Control may be easing its masking recommendations has some in San Francisco concerned it might be too soon.

“I think the CDC is being more flexible, updated and contemporary, but that doesn’t mean there are no situations outdoors to wear masks,” said UCSF infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong.

While COVID-19 risks are dramatically lower outdoors, UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong says there are still risks, and people should still consider masking in crowded outdoor environments like sports stadiums, concerts, amusement parks, farmer markets, and even a crowded food truck line.

“There may be situations large crowds uncontrolled, lots of noses and mouths together where wearing a mask would still be a good idea, particularly with some not getting vaccinated yet, some immunocompromised people who don’t have the  response to vaccine as they would have thought to the general populations and with the variants circulating.”

San Francisco health director Dr. Grant Colfax says whatever the CDC reccomends, individuals states and countys would have to sign off on… he says masks mandates go hand in hand with the number of people vaccinated.  right now 2/3 of eligible san franciscans have already received one dose of the vaccine

“The sooner we reach herd immunity 80-85% immunized, the sooner we can go back to normal, open the city, and the sooner we can change some of our masking policies,” Dr. Colfax said.

Dr. Colfax says that if vaccinations continue at their current rate, 85% of those eligible to get a vaccine will have had two doses by mid to late June.



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