COVID Update: No Masks Outside?


We are slowly but surely inching closer to normalcy. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests how American citizens should go about their daily lives during the ongoing pandemic.

Those fully vaccinated — one shot for Johnson & Johnson, two for Pfizer or Moderna — can attend small outdoor get-togethers without wearing a mask. That means your summer barbecues and pool parties may not be in danger this year.

To maintain safety, masks are still needed in most indoor settings and at crowded outdoor events. In other words, expect to be masked if you plan to attend a Nationals game or a large outdoor event this summer. That being said, it is safer to attend these larger events if you are fully vaccinated.

New recommendations for the fully vaccinated include maskless walking, running, hiking and other outdoor physical activities, either alone or with members of their own household. Vaccinated individuals can also forgo a mask when attending a small outdoor event with family and friends, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. If you want to dine outdoors with friends from multiple households, you do not need a mask.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky reminded the public that there are still 50,000 new COVID cases each day, so it is important to remain cautious.

The Georgetowner recently reported that COVID restrictions would loosen on May 1, now just two days away. Movie theaters can be at 25-percent capacity and seated live entertainment will be allowed indoors and outdoors at 25-percent capacity (up to 500 people). School graduations and end-of-semester ceremonies will be allowed indoors and outdoors at 25-percent capacity, with a waiver for attendance above 250. More information can be found here.

If you’re itching to get outside and explore our wonderful city again, the Smithsonian museums and zoo are reopening in stages. Come Friday, May 14, you can visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (which share a building), among others. A week later, on May 21, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Zoo will open their doors. Of course, there will be capacity limits, with timed passes generally required, and other restrictions. More information can be found here.

Perhaps D.C. will follow New York City. Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that he expects to fully reopen by July 1, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday. Only time will tell …

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