CLEVELAND — Mask or no mask? That question received some updated guidance Tuesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said Americans who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to wear masks outdoors unless they're in a large crowd of strangers.
But that's not all. The CDC also listed multiple other recommendations involving when masks should / should not be worn, which have been simplified in their tweets below.
So where does all this leave Ohio and its mask requirements as we continue moving through the COVID-19 pandemic? Governor Mike DeWine said he's not surprised by the CDC's updated mask suggestions after giving the new recommendations a quick review.
“We know being outside is much, much, much safer," he said during a press conference Tuesday from the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. "We know being vaccinated is much, much safer. What they put out today, at least in a fast read, I don’t think is any surprise.”
He agreed that all Ohioans should continue to wear masks if spending time in a crowded area outside.
"We need to worry about that," Gov. DeWine continued. "We need to be careful about that. We need to have a mask."
But what about other outdoor activities?
"If we’re out jogging, we’re out walking, we’re out by ourselves, we’re moving fast, we don’t need to worry so much about wearing a mask," Gov. DeWine added.
Ohio's current mask orders while indoors still apply.
Separate from the CDC's updated mask guidance, Gov. DeWine also announced that fully vaccinated Ohioans will no longer be expected to quarantine after exposed to somebody with COVID-19.
"By changing our health order, students 16 and 17 years old who are vaccinated will be able to participate in sports and other activities, even when they have been exposed to someone with COVID," he explained.
The key to these loosened restrictions and guidelines all surround the COVID-19 vaccine. Although vaccination numbers are moving in a downward trend throughout Ohio, Gov. DeWine said we've got to keep moving forward.
"If you look at the different age groups, the most vulnerable among us over the age of 65, we’re at 73-74% now. We’ve got one age group that will be passing 80% in the next week, probably. We’re not in bad shape, we’re in good shape – but we’ve got to finish the job."
So how many people have been vaccinated in Ohio? The interactive map below has updated data on first and second doses given in each state: