‘Do What’s Right By the Science:’ Why the CDC Updated Outdoor Mask Guidance (And When You Can Ditch Yours)

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There was an Irish Times article about a month ago that showed that out of 232,000, one out of a thousand was likely linked to outdoor transmission. And then a very extensive review from the University of Canterbury was done earlier in the fall and looked at a massive number of studies around the planet and thought that outside transmission was so rare that they couldn’t actually quantify it.

And then when the World Health Organization revised their mask guidance in December — even before vaccines — they said masks are not required outside unless you’re in non-distanced situations. That’s some of the evidence even prior to vaccinations.

The CDC’s latest guidance for outdoor mask-wearing, for fully vaccinated and vaccinated people. (CDC)

So Dr. Gandhi, what do you do when you’re outside? Do you wear a mask?

I did until yesterday, because I’m really very polite — and also because of the San Francisco guidelines, which were actually put into place on April 17, 2020, two months before the state put in place their outdoor and indoor mask mandates.

However, I actually realized yesterday after the CDC released their guidelines that as someone who really is trying to follow the data, and has really deeply looked at these outside studies, it’s best for me to model not wearing my mask outside. Yesterday I went without my mask outside, and no one got mad at me.



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